Last season, Pinellas Park went through a remarkable transformation, winning five games, matching the win total from the previous five seasons combined.
This year, Patriots coach Kenny Crawford said the goal is to have the school's first winning season since 2003. Pinellas Park got started on that task by opening the season with practice at 8:20 a.m.
"Everyone is fired up," Crawford said. "Some of the guys got here a little late, but they'll do some extra running. Soon enough, they'll get used to being here in the morning."
Mike Smith, a running back, made sure he was on time.
"I was up at 4:30 a.m.," Smith said. "I couldn't wait to start the season."
Donny Norris was so excited, he dyed and went to heaven.
Norris, a tight end/defensive lineman, showed up for practice with a mohawk, complete with red dye down the middle.
"Some other players went with mohawks, but I'm the only one that went with the red hair," Norris said. "It just fits my personality."