POCA, W.Va. -- Summer is a good time for high school football coaches to break in new players and fill gaps on both sides of the ball.
Of course the players have to be there.
"The biggest thing for us is getting the numbers," Poca High Coach Bob Lemley said. "We've had about 30, which is not too bad for us."
Summer vacations always pull a few players away. Sometimes players who are expected to be there are simply nowhere to be found, such as junior running back Levi Clendenin and senior quarterback Jake Payne.
"I have not seen (Clendenin) yet," Lemley said.
The three-week summer practice period ends Saturday.
"Right now we are working Justin Stewart in at quarterback," Lemley said. "He played as a freshman then did not play last year."
He suspects an injury Payne suffered during baseball season may be keeping him sidelined this summer. Payne has started under center for the last two years and last season he completed 72-of-146 passes for 797 yards and ran for another 659 yards for the 2-8 Dots.
He is also an example of the major problem Lemley sees with the summer practice period.
"The one big thing I have a problem with is you have kids that play say football, baseball, and basketball," he said. "If you have a kid that plays all three it wears him down."
The recent heat wave has not helped any.
"We've been going in the morning," Lemley said. "It's been getting a little warm around 10."