After three days of practicing without pads, players on Vista del Lago’s varsity football team were anxious to hit. They proved that by picking up the pace and intensity on Thursday, the team’s first day in pads. “I think practice went great,” junior quarterback Anthony Mull said. “We had high intensity and we worked hard and seemed to work even harder with the pads on.” Senior wide receiver and defensive back Kalib Smith agreed. “I thought we started a little slow, but when Wednesday rolled around the intensity seemed to pick up and we looked good the rest of the week,” Smith said. Head coach Chris Jones was pleased with his team’s performance over the first week of practice and what they accomplished. “Those first three days without pads we basically did everything but bring guys down to the ground,” Jones said. “We were just preparing them for when they got the pads on. We went over a lot of drills so when they got pads on, we didn’t have to do a lot of teaching, instead just worked on technique. “Thursday and Friday went pretty well,” Jones continued. “The kids are always ready to hit that first day, but Friday was the toughest day because it’s a long week and it was hot. It felt good at the end because of all that we accomplished.” The Eagles, with a roster of 41 players, are looking forward to their first season with a senior class. “Having a senior class is obviously a big benefit to us,” Mull said. “We have more experience and maturity and it gives us an edge.” Smith added, “It’s nice having more kids on the team. The intensity picks up and there’s more competition.” Jones said that the competition within the team was one of the high points through the first week. He said that competition among each other will only make the team better. In fact, Jones said that there are some juniors who have beat out seniors for starting roles. With one week of practice finished, Jones said the team will look to establish a routine and tempo this week, as they get closer to their first scrimmage on Sept. 3.