The Knights will be in shoulder pads for the first time. But even with the lines – especially the defensive line – limited without pads, Hahn said he's been impressed through the first two practices. "It's kind of hard because we're limited to what we can do," said Hahn, expected to be a starter on both the offensive and defensive lines. "From what I've seen offensively we've been clicking for the most part. Defensively we haven't seen as much the last two days because we can't hit. But things have been going well, I think."
First-year coach Pat Ryan said he's also looking forward to Wednesday's practice in shoulder pads. The team's first practice in full pads will be Saturday.
"I'm looking to see who wants to hit a little bit," Ryan said. "Football is a physical game and we want to see who the physical players are. You can look like a million bucks with no shoulder pads on and no line, 7-on-7, but once you put a full team out there and do a little hitting it starts to separate the tough, physical players from guys who want to shy away from contact." Ryan said he has liked the look of the offense through the first two days. In the off season, he thought his team was pretty fast at wide receiver, and he said that's one thing that carried over into the fall.
He also said he's liked the high intensity of the practices so far.
"I think our ... attitudes are good," Ryan said. "Kids seem to be really excited for this season. Practice has had a lot of high energy. That's good, and tomorrow we get the shoulder pads on and can do some light hitting. I think the kids are excited for that." Kaneland finished last year 4-5, missing the playoffs for the second time in three years. Even with that mini-slump – the Knights are still 15-14 in the last three years – they made the playoffs in seven of coach Tom Fedderly's 10 years and have missed the playoffs three times since 1995.
The 2017 season opens August 25 hosting Brooks, and senior quarterback Jack Douglas said a good summer has the team prepared. "We're already clicking pretty well," Douglas said. "Having a lot of contact days in early June and July really helped us. We've been ready to go the first couple days.
"We all seem to know what we're doing," he said. "We were all studying the playbook on our week off."
MAPLE PARK – As Day 2 of fall practice wrapped up on Tuesday for the Kaneland football, lineman Drew Hahn said he was excited about what Day 3 will bring.