The Jacksonville Fightin’ Indians began the 2006 season with its first practice Monday at the Jacksonville High School practice fields. The Indians will travel to Paris Aug. 25 for its first scrimmage.

Coach Randy Copeland and the Jacksonville Fightin’ Indians have one goal for the upcoming 2006 season — to win the Class 4A state championship.

On Monday, the Indians began its road to the state championship with its first practice of the 2006 season at the Jacksonville High School practice fields.

Although the Indians have not been on the field since its spring game in May, Copeland said it didn’t feel all that long ago.

“It feels like just yesterday we got off the field with spring ball, and we are out here again,” Copeland said. “It’s the start of a long road.”

The Indians are coming off a 2005 campaign where the team was forced to forfeit several games due to an ineligible player and missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.

Despite the troubles of last season and losing Cammeron Hackney and Ramon Williams, Copeland said these first practices are important in setting the tone for the upcoming season.

“Every practice is important, especially when you go through spring ball and then you play a zero-week game,” Copeland said. “You’ve only got two weeks to get ready to play, so everything is fast paced.”

The Indians will open its season with a scrimmage against Paris on Aug. 25 and will open the regular season at Brownsboro on Sept. 1.

Although other area teams began practice last week, Copeland said the Indians are actually ahead of schedule.

“The kids are used to starting the second week of August, so I don’t feel like we are behind,” Copeland said. “I feel like we are ahead of where we have been in the past because we’ve been here, and our system has been in place longer and the kids are getting used to it.”

The Indians will have evening practices the rest of the week and will “kick-off” the season with the annual “Pow-wow” on Friday at the Tomato Bowl.

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