With the opening week of fall sports practice sessions completed, Pacific High School coaches have been encouraged by the amount of student participation.
The football and cross country teams both had good numbers during the first week.
All five fall programs at Pacific, football, cross country, volleyball, softball and boys soccer are seeing their respective teams start to take shape.
With nearly 50 students in grades 9-12 in the football program this fall, there’s optimism for the team this season.
“This is the most kids we’ve had in a long time,” said Pacific Head Coach George Hinkle. “The kids have a lot of energy. Our younger kids are doing well. Our older kids have stepped up in their leadership roles and have helped the younger kids. We have some good leaders in our senior class.”
Hinkle believes the Pacific football program is moving in the right direction.
“I see a lot of good potential, not only for this season, but for years to come,” Hinkle said. “Having the number of kids we have this year will help us. We have some talented freshmen, which is a great sign. Our goal is to improve now and also to get better down the road.”
Pacific and St. James now are the only schools in the immediate area with grass fields.
Next season, St. James will have a new turf field, leaving Pacific with only grass.
“I think one major positive of having a grass field is you tend to stay healthier playing on grass,” Hinkle said. “Our field is one of the nicest grass fields you’ll see.”
Pacific will hold a scrimmage Saturday from 9-10:30 a.m. at the high school practice field.
The Indians will play their jamboree Friday, Aug. 23, at Sullivan High School starting at 7 p.m.
Joining Pacific and Sullivan at the jamboree will be St. James and Salem.
“The start of the season is approaching fast,” Hinkle said. “We have to continue to work hard and learn every day.”
The Pacific cross country team also had a solid turnout for practice sessions.
Coach Justin Perriguey reported that the team currently has 34 students in grades 9-12 out for the squad, 18 boys and 16 girls.
“I was glad to see several of the kids coming into the season with a good summer of training under their belt,” Perriguey said.
The Pacific team again will hold their practice sessions at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit.
“We are getting the new runners accustomed to the way that things work,” Perriguey said. “We’re getting all the athletes, rookies and veterans, into appropriate training groups.”