Havelock ended its 2013 season in the rain at Raleigh’s Carter-Finley Stadium by winning its third consecutive state championship.
It seemed appropriate that rain fell again as the Rams officially started their quest for a fourth straight title.
Thunderstorms cut short Havelock’s first official practice of the 2014 season on Friday morning, but the rain hardly drained any enthusiasm out of the players.
“I feel excited to come back out here and go for another state championship and work hard each and every day,” senior offensive lineman Martez Morris said. “I’m just excited because today’s the first official day of practice.”
Players and coaches had barely stepped on the field Friday morning when rain began to fall. They drilled and ran some plays for about 30 minutes before thunder rumbled overhead. If nothing else, the players got a good workout running from the practice field back to the locker room.
“I want to be on the field right now working hard because we know somebody else is out there trying to work just as hard as us,” Morris said. “I want to keep learning as much as I can so I can understand what needs to be done on Friday nights.”
Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant also wanted to be practicing but said the players had a good summer of workouts.
“All of our kids showed up during the summer on those days that we asked them to make,” Bryant said. “It’s the first day officially for the state, but we’ve got our offense and defense installed, so we’ll be fine from here on out.”
The Rams went 16-0 a year ago and return six starters on offense and six starters on defense. Havelock has scrimmages scheduled for Aug. 11 at East Duplin and Aug. 15 at Southwest Onslow before opening the season against Washington at 7 p.m. Aug. 22 at Havelock High.