LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Every time a brand new high school football season begins, it’s hard not to play ‘The Boys of Fall’ by Kenny Chesney.

Monday marked the official start of the season in Michigan and a lot of coaches across mid-Michigan had a hard time falling asleep in anticipation for Monday’s first practice.

The first stop on the ‘6 Sports Two-A-Days’ train took us to Holt High School.

Chad Fulk enters his 8th season leading the Rams, who are coming off a 7-3 season in 2021 with wins against rivals Grand Ledge and East Lansing.

Now, the Rams are looking to replace a defense that was called ‘the best defense we’ve had,’ by Fulk, who will need to replace nine spots on that side of the ball. Despite the lack of starting experience, Holt still feels confident in the guys expected to step up.

“A lot of them were here just itching to get in and they probably could have played in other years, but because our defense was so good last year they didn’t get to start. But they still got to play a lot so we should be OK,” Fulk said.

One returning starter for the Rams in senior quarterback Seneca Moore. Last year was his first opportunity to start at the varsity level and has changed a lot since his junior season ended in October.

“Physically he just got a lot bigger, a lot faster, and I think he grew three or four inches,” Fulk said.

Senior defensive back Isaiah Foster said, “Standing next to him, I’m like ‘Dang!’ this dude got tall. He’s like 6’2 now. He was more of a Melo kid, kind of quite, but you throughout the season our coaches did a good job of bringing him up.”

Moore said, “Yeah, I’ve been taking my preparing more seriously this year. I want to make sure I take every opportunity to get better this year, so I can go out and ball out.”

The second stop of the day landed us at East Lansing’s practice where Bill Feraco begins year No. 19 as the Trojans leader.

With the losses of Brevin Jackson and Ambrose Wilson to graduation, East Lansing will be looking for a new starting quarterback this season. Senior Dalen Adams returns for the Trojans, after getting varsity reps last season, and joining the EL’s QB room this year is Joey Pizzo, who transferred from Waverly and was the Warriors starting quarterback last season.

While the the QB position is up in the air, the good news for Feraco is the skilled positions are in good hands.

Senior wide receiver Evan Boyd, senior running back Kanye Jackson and senior wide receiver Dorijan Jackson will be key offensive weapons for East Lansing this season.

Boyd committed to Central Michigan in May and spent plenty of time in the weight room this offseason.

“I actually weigh the same now as I did last year, but I bench 40lbs more. Last year I was benching 225, now I’m benching 265. So I put on a lot of muscle. My body has changed a lot,” Boyd said.

Kanye Jackson said, “The strength program, like workouts we would do a day, it was cutting and high reps and trying to build muscle.”

Feraco said, “The kids have worked very hard in the weight room. I think the result of that, or the product of that, is that there’s an additional confidence.”