Nothing like a bunch of cold, juicy watermelon to celebrate end of the first week of football practice. The Lake Highlands football team was joined in the annual Watermelon Feed by members of the cheerleading squads, bell boys and the marching band – which had just finished a steamy workout, too.

While the watermelon went quickly, what had defensive coordinator Jeff Smith’s mouth watering was that Friday was the first time the team could conduct practice in full pads. In other words, the defense could finally hit somebody.

"I’m excited," Smith said. "I think we can run real well. We’re real athletic, which you have to be these days against the offenses we face."

Smith said the defensive front should be the strength of the unit, but overall the knowledge of the defense will be an advantage. This is the team’s fourth season under head coach Scott Smith and its third with Jeff Smith running the defense.

"Our kids are really understanding what we’re trying to do," Jeff Smith said. "With our knowledge base, we’re really further along than we were at this point last year."