Four of South Dakota’s seven high school football classes started practice on Monday, all three nine-man classes and Class 11B. Like most teams, the Howard Tigers are striving to be number one in 20-19. Howard Head Coach Pat Ruml said the first day of practice is important, because it sets the tone for the rest of the year.
"The first practice to me is just making sure everybody is out. You hate it when kids decide they don’t want to play, for whatever reason. Getting all of the kids out, and then getting them in line, and once you get them here, they’re going to keep being here," Ruml explained. "I think for me, it’s always the same. If it’s ever where I’m not excited for football, then it’s probably time for me to quit."
Last season, Howard came up just short of a state championship as they fell to Canistota-Freeman in the Class 9A title game 46-14. After then graduating six seniors, the Tigers are optimistic as they have a solid unit of guys returning for the upcoming season. They’ll open regular season play in Castlewood on August 23rd.
Class 11AAA, 11AA, and 11A are eligible to start practicing next Monday.
Production has also begun for South Dakota Public Broadcastings 4th season of its digital series 'Tales of the Gridiron.' The first episode will feature the Howard Tigers and the atmosphere of the first practice.