Football

A FRESH START

The first day of fall practice brings high hopes for the Cougars after finishing 2012 with a 4-6 mark

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • ConVal senior running back Riordan McCole looks for an opening during a 7-on-7 drill at Wednesday’s practice. After months of offseason conditioning, the Cougars finally hit the practice field for the first time on Wednesday. ConVal will play in the Division II West this year after a complete divisional realignment. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    ConVal senior running back Riordan McCole looks for an opening during a 7-on-7 drill at Wednesday’s practice. After months of offseason conditioning, the Cougars finally hit the practice field for the first time on Wednesday. ConVal will play in the Division II West this year after a complete divisional realignment.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • Second-year coach Ryan McCartney works with junior fullback Isaiah Taylor on the best way to protect the football during offensive drills. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    Second-year coach Ryan McCartney works with junior fullback Isaiah Taylor on the best way to protect the football during offensive drills.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • Offensive linemen work on foot techniques at the start of Wednesday’s practice before being put to the test during 7-on-7 drills. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    Offensive linemen work on foot techniques at the start of Wednesday’s practice before being put to the test during 7-on-7 drills.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • Junior Nick Maciejewski gets low to the ground to make a catch during wide receiver drills.  <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    Junior Nick Maciejewski gets low to the ground to make a catch during wide receiver drills.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • ConVal senior running back Riordan McCole looks for an opening during a 7-on-7 drill at Wednesday’s practice. After months of offseason conditioning, the Cougars finally hit the practice field for the first time on Wednesday. ConVal will play in the Division II West this year after a complete divisional realignment. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Second-year coach Ryan McCartney works with junior fullback Isaiah Taylor on the best way to protect the football during offensive drills. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Offensive linemen work on foot techniques at the start of Wednesday’s practice before being put to the test during 7-on-7 drills. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Junior Nick Maciejewski gets low to the ground to make a catch during wide receiver drills.  <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal football team opened up fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

Wednesday marked the first official day of practice for high school football teams in New Hampshire and ConVal wasted no time getting started.

With helmets and shoulder pads on, the 2013 Cougars began the long journey toward their Sept. 6 opener versus Lebanon.

After graduating 13 seniors, a number of positions are up for grabs and over the next few weeks, returning varsity players and JV call-ups will be battling to earn playing time.

ConVal finished last year 4-6, three more wins than the previous campaign, and the goal is to keep improving under second-year coach Ryan McCartney.

With the state changing its divisional alignment from six divisions to three, containing four conferences, ConVal will now play in the Division II West.

Two teams in each conference will play a conference playoff game, with the four conference winners advancing to the D-II semifinals.

But that is not the focus now. The most important thing is to get better each day, starting with Wednesday’s first practice.

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