TYLER - Football practices are just getting started around East Texas. Most teams are getting back up to speed and working the new players into the system.
But for East Texas Christian Academy, this isn't just their first practice of the season. It's their first practice in the history of the school.
"It gives them the opportunity have a program for themselves, and also the other kids in school the drum and bugle cores the cheerleaders even the kids that are just sitting in the stands they can go follow their team on Friday night rather than go see another area school," says head coach Joe Permenter.
The Panthers have 13 players, but none of them have any football experience. So, there have been a few bugs to work out.
"Half of us came out without our helmets," says senior Stephen Moore.
While the team has been working together in the off-season, head coach Joe Permenter says the squad is still a work in progress.
"If I tell them to stand on their head before the ball snaps they're going to try and do it so I've got to make sure i do everything right I'm excited about it, it gets in your blood and it's an exciting brand of football."
This team will be a little different than most in our area, because the Panthers are a 6-man squad.
"If someone's never seen a 6-man game before, and I run into people all the time who say I've always intended to do that then this is going to be their opportunity to see the fastest game on grass," explains Permenter.
For the lone senior on the team, it's about more than wins and losses. It's a chance to be a part of something special.
"It's pretty exciting it's going to be rough a couple of years till everyone gets a full grasp of it but after that I think it'll get good," says Moore.
ETCA 2017 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Fri. Sept. 1 - BYE
Fri. Sept. 8 at Longview Trinity Christian
Sat. Sept. 16 vs. Tyler King's Academy
Sat. Sept. 23 vs. Full Armor Henderson
Sat. Sept. 30 vs. Tyler Heat
Sat. Oct. 7 vs. Greenville Christian
Sat. Oct. 14 vs. Tyler Excel
Fri. Oct. 20 at Longview Christian Heritage
Sat. Oct. 28 at Dallas Fairhill
Fri. Nov. 3 at Dallas Tyler Street
Sat. Nov. 11 vs. ETCS Longview