His first formal practice of the 2011 season didn't arrive without its complications.
"My helmet feels funny now," Armwood senior tailback Matt Jones said, struggling to squeeze it over his thick dreadlocks. "I ain't put one on in so long."
He's certain to be a far more snug fit in Armwood's power running game. Sidelined since early August surgery to repair a slightly torn meniscus, Jones showed nary a limp while running short pass routes during the early stage of Monday's offensive workout. He'll play his first meaningful game in roughly nine months Friday against Leto.
"I'm about 100 percent," said Jones, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound University of Florida commitment who wore a red non-contact jersey Monday. "I've got like, just a little swelling that I keep iced down."
Teammate Darryl Richardson isn't quite as fortunate -- yet.
Richardson, a 6-5 quarterback who sustained an inflamed bursa sac in the Hawks' season opening victory at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, should return for next week's critical Class 6A, District 8 contest at Jefferson.
"He can walk without a limp now," coach Sean Callahan said. "We're going to try to run him a little today."