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Let the practices begin

School may still be out of session but summer vacation is officially over for student-athletes across Western New York.

Monday marks the first official day scholastic teams can start practicing for the fall season in all sports, including the area's 72 football programs. Lake Shore is believed to be one of the first to hit the field running with a practice start time of 7:30 a.m. Williamsville North, Hamburg, defending Section VI Class B champion Cheektowaga and Springville take the field at 8 a.m.

Defending state Class A champion South Park begins the post-Tyree Brown, Daryl Moore and Dave Thomas era with a 10 a.m. session at Mulroy Park. Bishop Timon-St. Jude takes the same field at 3 p.m. to begin preparation for schedule that includes national power Buford (Ga.) and Permian (Texas), along with the Tigers' usual Monsignor Martin Assocation rivals.

Defending Monsignor Martin playoff champion St. Francis has its first on-field workout at 4:30 p.m. Regular-season MMA champ and rival Canisius has two sessions -- the first a two-plus hours one beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Eden/North Collins returns to the Western New York football roster with a 5 p.m. practice. The program did not field a varsity team last year due to lack of players.

While Eden has a late start time for football practice, there are some teams in the area with later practice times today -- including Orchard Park girls soccer, which was schedule to practice under the lights on the district's main turf field at 6 p.m.

Follow the Prep Talk blog for practice updates from News Sports Reporters Miguel Rodriguez, Budd Bailey and Jack Goods and News Photographer Harry Scull Jr.  You can follow opening day and be part of the team on Twitter by using the hashtag #PrepTalkLive.


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