AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s two weeks until most kids head back to class, but Monday morning some high school football players are hitting the field. Morning practice starts for 9th graders, 1A-4A schools, and 5A and 6A schools that did not hold spring training.
At Lyndon B. Johnson Early College High School, the team will have a new head coach who is a familiar face after their longtime coach passed away last year from cancer.
Coach Andrew Jackson died in December at the age of 50 after battling stage IV esophageal cancer that spread to his liver. Despite his diagnosis, Jackson coached every game but one during the 2017 season.
This year Jahmal Fenner, who is currently the athletic coordinator, will take over the head coach role. Jackson coached Fenner while he was the quarterback at Reagan High School and Fenner was an assistant coach under him at LBJ. He says Jackson gave him the blueprint on how to coach and run a program.
“It means everything to me because I am walking in his path,” Fenner says. “I feel like he led me in the right direction and set me up to where I can make the same impact on kids as he has made.”
LBJ’s first game is against Elgin on Aug. 31.
“I feel like I’m prepared and I feel like he is watching over me,” Fenner says.
Teams like Lake Travis and Westlake don’t start their regular practice until next Monday since they had spring training.