Union Prepares For First Football Practice

The home of 6A's four-time defending State Champions was eerily quite today; the calm before the storm that rolls in at 7 AM Tuesday.

That's when Union's first official fall practice begins. {}Then, in just a few short weeks... The 2012 high school football season will kick off. On Monday, Redskin players arrived on campus to check-out their equipment - a tangible sign that the season is near. "It's exciting," QB Hunter Ataya said. {}"We worked the whole summer, with teammates, you're all prepared and ready to go. {}Then it's time to show what you've got - so it's pretty exciting.""I can't even go to sleep sometimes," OL Brandon Berg said. {}"Thinking about it - I'm so excited for it. {}You can't get any better than this."It literally can't get any better for Berg and Ataya, who as seniors, are going for their fourth gold ball. Part of the process players went through Monday was a fitting for the Brain Pad, a revolutionary device in the field of player safety. "What we've done for the last three years is fit Union varsity football with the brain pad," Dr. Bob Mongrain said. {}"It's a dual-arch mouth guard that has been shown to reduce the forces transmitted into the skull by a blow either under the chin, or to the facemask. {}NFL-funded studies have documented that it drops the forces by a third."Union opens the season with a tough test, as they take on Jenks in the MidFirst Bank Backyard Bowl on August 31.