The recently concluded three-week practice period for West Virginia high school athletes was a chance for younger, up-and-coming players to gain valuable experience before their respective sports begin this coming school year.
But for a pair of seasoned Herbert Hoover football players, the period provided a much-needed conditioning period in the summer heat.
That extra conditioning will certainly help junior receiver Tim Hopkins and sophomore lineman Adam Bailey as they represent the Mountain State as players on the USA Football National Under-17 (Hopkins) and Under-16 teams (Bailey).
The two traveled to Charlotte in mid-April for tryouts.
Hopkins, a 5-foot-11, 170-pounder, is in the midst of his experience as a member of the Silver team while practicing and playing in Austin, Texas.
The camp opened July 6, on the campus of St. Stephen's Episcopal School, and will conclude after games Friday afternoon.
"So far it's been fun," Hopkins said Tuesday after a full day of workouts. "There are a lot of good players here and a lot of intensity on the field because we realize we're playing for the United States of America."
Bailey's team will begin its work Saturday at Dartmouth University in Massachusetts and will run through July 19.
Bailey, a 6-4, 250-pound tackle and defensive end, is looking forward to his opportunity to represent the school on a national stage.
"I was lucky to make it," Bailey said of his selection to the squad, which consists of 100 players from across the nation. "I was really happy when I was selected, but I was mostly honored to be able to represent my school and my state.
"I'd like to go there and have fun, that's the main thing, but I'd also like to try to learn a few things and maybe get my name out there a little."