Columbia High School Football Teams Excited for New Season as Practices Begin

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COLUMBIA - Hickman and Rock Bridge High Schools are preparing for not just the upcoming football season, but also their August 26th showdown that kicks off the year for both squads. The Columbia schools both began practicing on Monday, and both will have some new faces. 

The Kewpies have a new head coach this season as Hickman Alum Arnel Monroe takes over the reigns. Monroe served as an assistant coach on the 2004 team that won a state championship. QB Logan Fitch, who passed for more than two-thousand yards last season, returns as the team's starting quarterback. He also threw 23 touchdowns with only three interceptions. Coach Monroe said he could hardly sleep the night before practice. 

"I'm just unspeakably excited this morning. I was up at 3:30 this morning running through things in my head. It seems like there's 9,000 things to do. When you're an assistant you don't see this side of it. So, yeah, really exciting."

Hickman Sr. Quarterback Logan Fitch said, "Team. Team has been the big component this year. He's done a great job bringing us all together as a team and really building some team character."

Rock Bridge also began preparing with two-a-day practices this week. Bruins head coach A.J. Ofodile enters his 9th season in charge with a career record of 41-40.

While the Kewpies have a new coach, the Bruins bring a new starting quarterback to the fray. Senior Bo Bell will run the offense and is hoping to ring up some connections with TE Austin Ray, who recently committed to play at Ole Miss. Ofodile says there is a lot of work to do before the season starts. 

"We're really still defining roles. We have some positions that are still up for grabs. We got some guys that are still trying to define themselves as players. So, at this stage there is a lot still up for grabs so we're trying to figure it out." 

"It's very exciting. We've been practicing all summer and so we got most of the stuff going already, but this is really the start of the season so it's fun," said Rock Bridge Sr. Offensive Lineman Harry Schauwecker. 

The teams will face off in the Providence Bowl on August 26th at Faurot Field at 7 p.m.