CRESTVIEW — By mid-morning on Monday a warm June sun beat down on Crestview High School’s practice football field.
But sweat soaking players’ shirts didn't seem to bother the team members who worked on passing drills.
First-year Bulldog coach Tim Hatten took good-natured verbal jabs at some of the players. Noting that running back Emmanuel Reed put on a few pounds around his midsection, Hatten called his star back "Dough Boy."
Players and coaches relaxed in Hatten's office after practice. At one point, the head coach showed his quickness of hand when he caught a fly that settled on some papers on his desk.
The fall practice’s official start is still six weeks away, and the season won't start for more than two months. Still, one week into summer drills, Hatten is pleased with what he has seen from his team.
"It's going good," he said. "We had four good days last week. This will be our fifth day this week. We had a chance to throw against Walton last Wednesday, but it's going good.
"We've had everybody out. It's been 100 percent participation. The guys are working really hard."
The team is divided into three groups, with one group lifting weights, another group doing conditioning drills and the third group installing the offense and defense.
Most of the offense was installed during spring practice; now it's just a matter of adding the finishing touches and fine-tuning things, Hatten said.
"I'd say we got about 80 percent of it installed in the spring," he said. "We are going over the little tweaks, the trickery and some gimmick stuff that we always like to throw in there ... change-of-pace stuff or change-of-game stuff.
"We got most of it in during the spring, but we didn't get it polished. We had it, but it didn't look great."
Hatten, who led Pear River Community College in Mississippi to the 2004 National Championship, is no stranger to winning and he knows the value of hard work.
He also knows that players and coaches need downtime in the summer.
"It's summertime," Hatten said. "The kids show up at 8 o'clock (in the morning). And with summer workouts, you get them in here and get them out by about 10:15 or 10:30 and they have the rest of the day.
"They still get to enjoy the beach. If they want to go to the beach they can leave Crestview at 10:15 and be to the beach by 11 o'clock. They can play golf, go to the river, whatever you want to do as a young kid. You can still do it."
The Bulldogs will get a couple of days off next week for the July 4th holiday after Monday and Tuesday workouts.
"We've got Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off is what we are looking at right now," Hatten said. "We may try to get someone to throw with Monday or Tuesday. Most people won't go out of town until Wednesday, if they do.
"We will have some miss because of the holiday, but that's part of it and we understand that."
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.