Kempner kicks off football practice

By Michael Sudhalter
msudhalter@fortbendstar.com

0806_football4The Kempner High football team wasted no team preparing for fall practice on Monday.

Public schools in Texas are allowed to begin practicing on Aug. 3, and the Cougars got started at 7 a.m.

“We wanted to get the players up here and have a regular practice and a walk-thru with a two-hour break in-between,” Kempner head coach Darrin Andrus said.

Above: Kempner High football players participate in a conditoning drill during practice on Monday morning. Below: Kempner High head football coach Darrin Andrus addresses his team after practice on Monday.  (Photos by Michael Sudhalter)

Above: Kempner High football players participate in a conditoning drill during practice on Monday morning. Below: Kempner High head football coach Darrin Andrus addresses his team after practice on Monday.
(Photos by Michael Sudhalter)

The Cougars, who will compete in the new Class 6A-23 district with Austin, Hightower, Travis, Dulles, Clements and the three Alief schools, will open the season in less than four weeks.

Kempner finished 1-9 last season, defeating rival Clements in the season finale. They return nine starters on each side of the ball and will open the season on Aug. 30 at Pasadena Rayburn, another squad that finished 1-9 in 2013.

“We’re looking forward to a good year,” Andrus said.

On Monday, Andrus emphasized the importance of hydration in accordance with Fort Bend ISD’s Heat Policy that’s in place to ensure player safety.

“We give them as much water as they want, plus we have four five minute water breaks through a two hour practice,” Andrus said. “Many of the players attended strength and conditioning in the summer, and got acclimated to the heat.”

During the breaks between practices, players drink Gatorade and eat fruit to replenish their electrolytes.

In addition to their efforts at practice, proper hydration starts at home.

Kempner High junior defensive lineman Jalen Kemp drinks water after the team’s first practice on Monday. Fort Bend ISD athletic program, as well as schools throughout the area, are emphasizing the importance of proper hydration.  (Photo by Michael Sudhalter)

Kempner High junior defensive lineman Jalen Kemp drinks water after the team’s first practice on Monday. Fort Bend ISD athletic program, as well as schools throughout the area, are emphasizing the importance of proper hydration.
(Photo by Michael Sudhalter)

“We tell the players we want them to drink two liters of water at home, and not to drink Coke or any caffeine,” Andrus said.

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