Talkin’ ’bout (the first) practice

With construction to their new stadium going on in the background, Providence Day football players began their first official practices.

Former basketball star Allen Iverson was being a bit humorous years ago when he uttered the now-infamous phrase, “We talkin’ ’bout practice!” during a press conference, but it was no laughing matter for area high school football teams that began their first day of official practice on July 30.

All nine south Charlotte squads began workouts this week, including reigning private-school Division I champion Providence Day (left), which will be playing in a newly constructed home stadium this year.

“What we’re doing in these first few days is starting back with basics to get our guys back to good playing form, because you never start out where you ended up,” said Chargers coach Bruce Hardin, who’s entering his fifth season with the program.

“What you learn in life is you don’t sit on success — you build on it. That’s the challenge for our guys. We’re trying to approach our season just like these people across the street that are building that beautiful stadium brick by brick, and that’s what we’re trying to do with our daily preparation – trying to build a championship tradition brick by brick.”

The Chargers open the season with three road games before their first scheduled home game in their new digs, a Sept. 7 meeting with the AFC Rangers.

“Our athletic director, Coach Cater, says (the stadium completion is) on schedule,” Hardin said. “Hopefully, in a week, they’ll be laying that turf down, and by September we’ll be playing a game on it.

“It’s exciting. I can’t wait until they cut that ribbon and turn us loose on it.”

C. Jemal Horton, jemal@thecharlotteweekly.com

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