SPRINGFIELD–If you’re a parent of a Missouri High School student who plays one of the 9 fall sports offered each year, then there’s a good chance you were wide awake before the sun came up this morning.

Every athlete competing in football to cross country to tennis and baseball met up with their team for the first official practice of the 2023-24 school year.

Now football teams aren’t allowed to go full contact until Friday, so today and tomorrow they just wore helmets but add pads to the equation on Wednesday.

For Republic Head Coach Ryan Cornelson, this morning’s practice was a day he couldn’t wait to come.

“It’s a year-round job if you’re doing it right,” said Tigers Head Coach Ryan Cornelson. “We’re in the weight room year-round and then come the summer, you’ve got 20 days there, and you’re putting in a lot of time and effort and get built up to that first game, and have that excitement, so it’s a great, great time of year.”