About 100 athletes — throwers, jumpers and sprinters — started their 2013 season together, but planned to diverge toward their specialties by the end of the week.
“We’re ready to get into some real practice and training sessions and let some kids get out there and start competing,” Williams said.
Monday was the first practice day allowed under the Sac-Joaquin Section’s rules for the spring sports season. Games begin Feb. 22.
The day was a new start for Tracy High boys tennis coach Patrick O’Brien, who greeted a couple returning seniors and several new players.
“We’ve got some new faces and I’ve got no idea if they can play, so we’ll get out and watch them a little bit,” O’Brien said.
Senior Paul Gleason, one of the tennis team’s veterans, said he got an early jump on the season convincing more students at Tracy High to try out.
“We just spread the word,” he said. “It’s a team effort, recruiting people. The first week of practice is just getting back into the groove of things again.”
Some athletes on Monday said they felt like they never left the playing field.
West sophomore Amanda Beck, a returning varsity soccer player, said the first day of the high school season signals a change from her year-round travel teams.
“You get to see a lot of new faces, and you get to see the new talent,” she said.
West soccer coach Abel Dorado judged his team could end up with a small, young roster.
Other coaches, including Millennium softball coach Maegan Lunn, see more interest than ever in their sports. Lunn made cuts last year after 18 players showed up on the first day, and this year must reduce a list of 24 players to a roster of 14.
In addition to the newcomers, the Falcons will have a few returning players, including senior Mimi Wise. She’s played year-round with All-American Sports Academy and enjoyed seeing the new team.
“When we first started when I was a freshman (at Millennium), we had no experience at all, and we’ve grown so much since then,” Wise said. “Our job is just to help all the new girls. When they get it, I feel like I’ve brought more to the team than my own talent.”
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.