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John Harrell, head football coach and athletic coordinator at Rockwall-Heath High School, is excited for his and the team's return to the field this season.
"I am excited just to get back out there with a great coaching staff and hard-working kids," he told East DFW News. "Football is an awesome experience for everyone involved. We have already had a good turnout to a red/black scrimmage we did last Saturday. I am hoping our fans feed off our energy and keep showing up, supporting their community."
Rockwall-Heath, like other schools in the Houston and Dallas-Fort Wayne areas, is in Conference 6A, according to TheAthleticsDepartment.com. Nearly 30 different districts and 245 schools in the conference will compete during the 2022-23 school year.
While Harrell does not yet have a full roster, he is proud of his team's camaraderie and energy.
"These kids have grown up together, play multiple sports together, and had a great summer lift together," he said. "We have multiple players that are explosive and fun to watch; it just matters what position you like watching."
Rockwall-Heath will face a handful of challenges in the new season; some of these are outside of Harrell's control.
"The areas of focus are the offensive line and our defense," he said. "Both lost some key players last year, and they are off to a good start this year. We do not look at challenges in a bad way. Adversity is our friend. But, if we had to name something, it has been the heat and staying hydrated. We got out into the heat all summer, have cool zones set up, try and drink fluids in meetings, but the heat has challenged us the most."
6A schools can play a maximum of 10 games within an 11-week timespan, TheAthleticsDepartment.com noted. Preseason practice begins in August, and playoffs begin in November.