For the Longview Lobos it all starts on the practice field. Spring ball begins there with stretches and warm ups.
And then, it turns serious.
After an hour of work, the Lobos earn their way onto Lobo field.
"Normally, " Lobos head coach John King says, "our spring practices are tougher than we have in fall, because you're not getting ready to play a game."
Longview has a right to be excited to see football return. The Lobos were 10-0 last year, district champs, with victories over Lee and Shreveport Evangel, which means they beat state champions in both Texas and Louisiana. The Lobos are understandably ready to put on the pads and start hitting again.
"I would say it's exciting, senior running back Chris Ivory says, "because it gives us a chance to get out and hit,.have some contact, which we haven't had since the season was over."
"It helps us bond, get together," senior tailback Vondrell McGee explains. "It helps us know who's blocking and who we're throwing the ball to."
It also lets Vondrell know who's clearing the way in front of him. During his junior year, Vondrell ran for 27 touchdowns and more than 2000 yards. His position is assured for this season, but King says spring ball is about finding all the starters for next year.
"The biggest thing is, we want to come out with our 22 starters, then find backups, and find the things that fit our personell."
So while this brief window into football will close soon, the Lobos will spend months poring over the results getting everything ready for next season.