BILOXI -- The Biloxi High football team celebrated the Fourth of July a day early, heading out to the beach south of the Coast Coliseum on Thursday morning to get in some conditioning work.
It's become a summer tradition under Coach John Shannon.
After working at various stations, the team got to watch and cheer on their teammates in an old-fashioned tug of war in the sand.
"It is something special,'' Shannon said. "I told them with the Fourth of July coming up we would go to the beach and have a picnic. They knew I was kidding. Our little picnic is stations and running and working.
"Participation has been good this summer. I'm pleased with the hard work. We will do different things this summer, with 7 on 7 against other teams. working among ourselves teaching football, and lifting weights and conditioning.''
And it all points to August practice and the season opener in the Shrimp Bowl on Aug. 23 against Pearl River Central at Biloxi Stadium. That will be the second game of a football doubleheader. Gulfport plays Bay High in the Aug. 23 first game at 4 p.m.
Biloxi quarterback Blake Johnson and defensive end Chad Andrews are used to the drills.
"It's definitely hot,'' Johnson said. "We're putting in work with the team and all these young kids are getting better. We've been doing this for four years. We are looking for a good season and want to win a district championship.''
"The sun is out today,'' Andrews said. "You try to stay hydrated and compete hard. It was hot yesterday. Today we got a little breeze so it is not too bad.''