A sunny morning greeted the nearly 19,000 athletes across the state who began their preseason workouts on Monday for football, girls softball, girls golf and boys tennis.
With high temperatures forecast to be in the 90s, Omaha Public Schools athletic officials are restricting football practices to before 11 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. No limits currently are on practices the remainder of the week.
At Omaha North, players assembled for a three-hour practice that started at 8 a.m. with stretching drills and running. It was the first time they were on the school's renovated practice field, which had a new synthetic surface installed to replace one that was 20 years old.
“Tackling drills will be much better,'' senior Reggie Holt said.
There are four new head football coaches in the Metro Conference:
• Craig Moraski is the interim coach at Bellevue West following the unexpected death this summer of 26-year coach John Faiman. The school will interview for a permanent replacement during the school year.
• Tim Clemenger is at Omaha Northwest, replacing Damon Benning; Tony Kobza is at Omaha Benson, replacing Adam Heuertz; and Jeff Kezeor is at Omaha Bryan, replacing Eric Hand.
In Class B suburban schools, Guy Rosenberg takes over at Elkhorn South for Trevor Longe and Bob Dzuris replaces Bob Fuller at Plattsmouth. Fuller left to be head coach at Louisville.
Benning, who was at Northwest for three years, has joined the North staff as outside linebackers coach and assistant running backs coach. Vikings coach Larry Martin said he talked to Benning about coaching for him prior to him going to Northwest.
The Vikings now have three former OPS head football coaches as assistants. The others are Dan Carruthers (Benson) and Rick Thurston (Bryan).
Season openers in football are Aug. 23 or 24.