Back on the Gridiron: HS football camps open in Indiana

The first Monday in August means one thing in Indiana, the start of high school football practice. Fall workouts opened bright and early Monday morning for schools in the Hoosier state.

The first two days of camp are non-contact with the full hitting and pads beginning on Wednesday.

Area teams will scrimmage on August 13th with the first games of the 2010 season starting on August 20th.

Among the most intriguing storylines will be whether Mishawaka can stay atop the Northern Indiana Conference after beating arch rival Penn for the first time in more than three decades last year. How will the Kingsmen respond? Can they get back to the top of the thrown?

Either way, Penn will be playing in style with the installation of its new turf surface that makes Freed Field one of the best facilities in the state.

In Elkhart, can Kevin Downey charge-up Memorial in the post Phil Teegarden era? Fundamental Phil retired after nearly 20 years on the job last year and Downey came over from St. Joe to take over. But Downey got a late start as it was a late hire. Will he have enough time to get the Chargers ready for the Battle for the Mangy Lion on August 20th against Central?

The Blue Blazers are start fresh as well. Former Central player and assistant coach Levon Johnson takes over the program this season. Johnson has not been an assistant anywhere since 2001, but has served as a principal within the school corporation for the last several years. Central won just five games in the last two seasons.

And with Downey gone, how will St. Joe react with its new coach--also named Downey. Ben Downey takes over for his older brother to run the Indians.

In the Northern Lakes Conference, will Plymouth come off the top spot with the graduation of LeNeil Himes and Gordy Holloway? You know Concord and NorthWood will once again be in the mix. But who else might make a run at the NLC conference title?

In the Northern State Conference, will anyone challenge Jimtown? Year in and year out, the Jimmies are the class of the NSC. Will that change this year?

We begin our previews for all the area teams tonight on NewsCenter 16 at 6.

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