Adam Eichhorn has had July 30 circled on his calendar since he was named the Marietta High head football coach a few days before last Christmas.
Monday is the day of course when prep football kicks into full swing with two-a-day practices, probably in sweltering heat.
"Expectations are high," said Eichhorn who was the MHS defensive coordinator last season under interim boss Bob Springer. "We're a long ways out yet but on board, on paper, everything looks good, and we're excited. But obviously, we've got to wait until the pads come on."
Times file photo
Marietta High’s football team takes a water break during a scrimmage against Athens at Don Drumm Stadium last August. The Tigers open up two-a-day practice sessions at the Davis Avenue field Monday.
The Tiger gridders will be on the Davis Avenue practice field at the high school from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and come back from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and this will probably be pretty much the schedule for the next three weeks, Eichhorn said.
"We'll give them a little break in the afternoon to give us, the staff a chance to meet, watch film and plan the next practice," the MHS head coach added.
Marietta, which has not enjoyed a winning football campaign since its playoff run in 2002, was 2-8 overall last season with its only wins coming against Morgan in the 2011 season opener and River View on homecoming night at Don Drumm Stadium.
Eichhorn will be the MHS football program's fourth head coach in as many years.
But come Monday all of this is bygones. The present is all that matters now.
According to Eichhorn, the numbers are good with 62 Tigers, from grades nine through 12, expected on the practice field on the first morning.
Of those, there are 22 juniors and 17 freshmen.
"We have a lot of athleticism," Eichhorn said. "The growth they made from last year to this year...number one, the weight room. That's the biggest thing. When you look at these guys, the gains they made in there, it carries over in their confidence on the field, knowing they are stonger, knowing they are faster. It's going to allow them to play at a higher level."
MHS defensive co-ordinator Lucas Stanton agreed and added, "Your season is made in the off-season in the weight room. However hard you work in the weight room is what you're going to get out on the field."
"The kids are very hungry to get out and prove something," he said.
Marietta is scheduled to scrimmage Athens Wednesday, Aug. 8, at 10 a.m., at The Plains.
Then, the Tigers will be hosting Ripley (W.Va.) Saturday, Aug. 11, at 9 a.m., and John Marshall (W.Va.) Friday, Aug. 17, at 7 p.m. Both of these exhibition games will be at Don Drumm Stadium.
"We're wanting to make and see improvement from Athens to Ripley to John Marshall," Stanton said.
MHS is slated to kick off its season in earnest on the road against the Morgan Raiders in McConnelsville at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 24.
The following week, the Tigers will visit Warren in Vincent.
Marietta's home opener will be against the Parkersburg Big Reds on Sept. 7.
"We're deeper across the board than we have been in years past and in my three years here," said Eichhorn whose Tigers this fall will be competing in their second season in the East Central Ohio League (ECOL).
"And that's a welcome sight."