While enduring the heat of the dog days of summer, Missouri high school student athletes began preparations for the 2019 fall sports seasons. The first official day of practice was Monday, Aug. 12.

The Republican caught up with some of the Stockton Tiger teams to get an early look on what to expect.

Football

Second-year coach Travis Hurley delayed the first practice until early Monday evening. At 7 p.m. temperatures were still in the low 90s.

“We probably could have gone a little later, even,” Hurley said. “When we first started, we were going slow and walking through some things, just in helmets.”

The 42-man roster includes four players from Sheldon as the Tigers renew their cooperative agreement with the Panthers.

“We went to Branson to a team camp and got a lot of reps,” Hurley said. “We had a base package of plays we put in, and we’re just kind of adding from there.”

The Tigers host an intrasquad scrimmage at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Joe Price Memorial Stadium. They play a preseason jamboree Friday, Aug. 23, in Sarcoxie. The regular season

Volleyball

The Lady Tigers will have a total of 20 players out: four seniors, seven juniors, three sophomores and six freshmen.

Coach Amanda Walton returns one of the top outside hitters in the Mid-Lakes Conference in senior Kaitlyn Creek.

With 408 kills to her credit in 2018, Walton knows every opponent will look to neutralize Creek. Walton said she has plenty of options to help back Creek.

“I’ve got a returning senior setter, Kira Frazier,” Walton said, “Frazier and Creek get along pretty well when it comes to putting up attacks.”

The Lady Tigers host a jamboree at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29. Their first match is Tuesday, Sept. 3, at Ash Grove.

Cross country

Despite graduating a sizable class of runners last spring, coach T.Jay Sanderson believes enough leadership is back for the boys’ team to challenge for conference, district and state championships. Seniors Jordan Albrecht, Wyatt Colgrove, Kyle Saulters and Jason Bradshaw are all expected to contribute.

As for the rest of the squad, “we’ll be young, but there’s a lot of good talent,” Sanderson said.

Only one senior, Shanae Potts, returns for the Lady Tigers. Sanderson was unsure if enough girls planned to come out to field a full team of five.

An intrasquad scrimmage is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at Stockton High School. The first regular-season meet is Saturday, Sept. 7, at Bolivar.

UPDATE: The cross country scrimmage has been postponed to a later date to be announced.

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