AUGUSTA (WJBF) – Six weeks remain until the beginning of the high school football season, but the legends of the fall are built by the sweat of summer.

“A lot of our young guys, this time is really important for them,” said Richmond Academy Head Coach David Sammons. “Coming from middle school the work atmosphere, the work energy, is really different. So, these first four weeks are very important for their developmental purposes.”

Teams in Georgia can’t practice in pads until August first. For now, it’s just helmets, T-shirts and a lot to learn. Richmond Academy is one of a number of local schools for which this summer is a new beginning in more ways than one. Former Offensive Coordinator Sammons takes over as Head Coach.

“We have a whole new offense, a whole new defense,” said senior quarterback Jack Murphy. “We’re just kind of changing things up and trying to put a whole bunch of plays in. All of the players are taking it pretty well and learning it really fast.”

“We had him in past years and he’s really turned this program around, helping them get more excited and getting the community involved also,” said senior linebacker Grady Noegle.

Six weeks remain before the heat of June gives way to the lights on Friday night. But for these players, and this coach, the season has already begun.

“Head coaching, I’m excited,” Sammons said. “I’m very energetic about things and I’m pumped. The head coaching side of things is a lot more about managing and it’s a lot more paperwork than people think, but, getting out here and getting around these guys and being able to knock around a little bit and hit the pads – that’s huge for me as a head coach.”

Football Friday Night returns August 12th at 11:35 p.m., Game Night Live, WJBF’s high school football game of the week, returns August 18th on MeTV. For the complete schedule, click here.