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Cretin-Derham Hall Coach Ready For Early Football Season

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's practically a state holiday, the first day of high school football practice.

But is that a good thing? Or another sign your summer's almost over?

"Nothing like a whiny teacher who just had two months off," Cretin-Derham Hall football coach Mike Scanlan said. "As much as you look forward to it, it's the end of the summer. But this is fun, when we can get back at it and do the things that we've been planning on doing for a long time."

This year, it's early. Because of scheduling conflicts at TCF Bank Stadium for the Prep Bowl, the games begin Aug. 22. And practices moved up on the calendar accordingly.

But there's nothing that reinvigorates a high school football coach than the first day on the field. And as Scanlan heads into another season at Cretin-Derham Hall, he's no exception.

"It's a fresh slate, starting out, trying to decide what you can do, what you can't do, trying to figure the team out, what our strengths are, where our deficiencies lay," Scanlan said. "It's fun in that regard. I still, as goofy as football can get, and as hard as it is, I find it a very creative game. And that's the part that appeals to me."

The Raiders went 6-2 in the regular season and lost in the opening round of the sectionals. Not bad, right? Actually, for Cretin-Derham Hall, it is. And the players are motivated by that, Scanlan said.

"They remember it. We talked about that this morning," Scanlan said. "We started our season in the same room that we ended our season, against White Bear, last year. And people remembered, even though it's a year away, what it was like, and what do we need to do to avoid that feeling."

Just three letter-winners are back on defense, and only five on offense, Scanlan said. But he's still got high expectations.

"We're going to be very young, but we got some talent, I'll tell you that," he said. "The cupboard's never bare. So we're excited about the challenge."

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