That religion returned in full force just as the sun crept over the horizon on Monday morning.
Trojan football is back.
Beeville, under second-year coach Jimmie Mitchell, stepped onto its newly renovated field at around 6 a.m. Monday for the first practice of the 2014 season.
“The kids had such a good offseason, and we had so many good improvements, and the kids have worked so hard, it’s something that we’ve really been looking forward to,” Mitchell said about the start of summer two-a-days. “I think we’re all excited. I know the kids are excited, the staff is excited.”
After an 0-10 season a year ago, Mitchell’s charges are ready to return Beeville to the success it saw just a handful of years ago when it went to the state quarterfinals.
One of those charges is senior Josh Salazar, who figures to be a starting tackle for the Trojans.
“It’s a good feeling to just come out as a senior and provide the leadership,” he said when asked about how it felt to return to practice. “We’re coming off a good offseason and going into a good season.
“It’s pretty good with two-a-days so far with all the effort everyone has put forth.”
The 5:30 a.m. start time on Monday came early for both players and coaches alike, according to Mitchell.
“That morning is like this: You tell yourself, ‘I’ve got to go to bed early because I’ve got to get up early,’” he said. “You go to bed, and you toss and turn and can’t sleep. So you’re in and out of sleep all night.
“I know most of the coaching staff didn’t sleep, and I imagine most of the players didn’t get a lot of sleep (Sunday) night.”
But Salazar shrugged that off, choosing instead to focus on how blessed he is to be doing what he’s doing.
“I’m blessed to do this, just to come out here and work with all your teammates. We worked hard all summer, all offseason, for this.”
Kevin J. Keller is the sports editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5223, or at sports@mySouTex.com, or follow him on Twitter, @beepicsports.