Countryside will get a head start on the rest of the county by starting spring football practice Thursday, a week ahead of the May 1 official date.
The Cougars petitioned the Florida High School Athletic Association for an earlier start because their spring game at Citrus is May 16, a date that would have it impossible to squeeze in the 20 days of spring practice allowed during the month before the game.
"Citrus moved up its graduation and pushed the game up a few days ahead of schedule," Countryside athletic director Greg Zornes said. "We asked the state for permission and they agreed."
Two other Pinellas County schools, Dixie Hollins and Pinellas Park, are starting on Monday for similar reasons.