Alexander coach Matt Combs and his players opened preseason practice this week with a five-day conditioning period under GHSA rules.

Luke Blasczyk was happy to be back on the field with his teammates.

This past week, football teams across the state opened practice for the upcoming season with a five-day conditioning period. Teams can put on full pads this weekend.

Blasczyk and his Alexander teammates are getting a jump as the Cougars held a midnight practice.

“I’m really happy to just be out the house and back doing what we love,” Blasczyk said. “It is good to be back at it.”

Alexander coach Matt Combs agreed.

“We are all excited to be back,” Combs said. “It is an opportunity to be back together.”

Teams in the county were allowed to do involuntary conditioning starting June 15 after all school activities were canceled in March at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of GHSA protocols, Alexander has had to canceled its Cougar Camp tradition. The Cougars would camp at the school a couple days to begin the start of fall drills.

Alexander has done this the last 14 years.

“There are a lot of former players that are not happy about this,” Combs said. “It is a tradition that had to end. The freshman will miss out on this.”

Combs said the players being away from the game has given them a sense of urgency since returning.

“I think the kids appreciate the little things now,” Combs said. “I think a little normalcy for them is exciting. We are a little behind in work, but so are other teams.”

The start of the season has been pushed back two weeks until Sept. 4. School in the county starts on Aug. 17 with everyone doing digital learning for the first nine weeks.