It's 9 a.m. Saturday, and, for the most part, Valley City is a quiet place.
Except, that is, on the practice field at Hanna Field, where the silence of the morning is broken by the sounds of whistles and shoulder pads making contact at full speed. A reminder that football season isn't far off.
Saturday's practice ended the first week of training for the Valley City High School football team, which has been running two-a-days since starting practice Wednesday.
"The biggest thing we want to do is we want to install our offensive and defensive systems, certainly get guys knowing our system and what we're doing, but we also want to teach skills like blocking and tackling," coach Scott Roehrich said about the first week.
The football team was among the first to start practice, beaten to the punch only by the girls golf team. The rest of the high school fall sports â€” boys and girls cross country, boys tennis and volleyball â€” started practice today.
After the first week of football practice, Roehrich said he was "very pleased" with what he saw from his team.
He said many players worked over the summer, which has helped moved things along at practice, allowing the team to refine its skills, rather than relearn them.
"A lot of it has to do with the time these guys put in over the summer, going to camps and learning some of those things so that when we got here, a lot of kids knew their stuff and we could get stuff done quicker."
The practices have also included the new additions to Valley City's coaching staff.
Roehrich said local businessman Bob Lemnus has been volunteering to help coach special teams, and Jim Breckheimer and Erick Counts both helping coach the lines.
"We've got three new guys with us, but they fit in real good," Roehrich said.
Roehrich is optimistic entering the season, which starts August 24 in Carrington.
"I think we've got a very dedicated group of guys that want to play good football this year," he said. "The work in the offseason was phenomenal for some of these kids and it showed."