Some kids needed help getting the chin straps on their helmets strapped up accordingly, while others looked a little lost when head coach Justin Del Bosque discussed the meaning of a snap count as players lined up to attack a blocking sled during Mondayís opening practice.

But thatís okay. They arenít supposed to know those things. At least, not yet.

What they are supposed to understand is that this is football. And this is Texas. That means itís time to get excited.

If you looked off in the distance, you could hear it.

The occasional grunt as a player got ready to charge forward into the blocking dummy, wanting to hit it faster and harder than his teammates.

The occasional encouraging yell as a young player got excited.

The happy voices of young coaches energized by the presence of not just a new sport at their school, but THE sport as far as many in Texas are concerned.

Last week, Del Bosque admitted he still wakes up thinking of things the program still needs before Lingleville can host its first game Aug. 27.

Just last Tuesday, head basketball coach Jance Morris, who led the Cardinals to the roundball playoffs in his first year of coaching after graduating from Tarleton, looked me in the eye and exclaimed, ďIím the defensive coordinator!Ē

Just weeks before that, Lingleville superintendent Dennis Hughes reminded Del Bosque just how basic the first practices would have to be - hence Del Bosque joking about holding up a ball and saying, ďThis is a football, and no, itís not perfectly round.Ē

The Cardinals - all 19 of them - spent their first day doing many of the same drills Dublin, Hico and hundreds of other schools around the state were doing. But at Lingleville, there was a bare, elementary style to the practice that is unique.

I was told last week that this, in fact, is not the first Lingleville football team. There was a team in the 1960s that played one season and suffered from three injuries requiring knee surgeries. It ended hopes of what many still believe could have been a state championship season in basketball. Football was quickly dropped.

Now, more than 40 years later, the oval-shaped pigskin is being thrown around Lingleville again, making Mondayís practice a historic time for the small, rural school.

Practices are being held on an abandoned baseball field. Games will be held on a piece of land behind the old Lingleville High School that was once leveled for a track that was never built.

The helmets are maroon with no decals, a very basic look for a very basic team.

But the footballs are all the right shape and size. The blocking dummy operates the same way whether itís being attacked by a new six-man team, or by the Dallas Cowboys.

Del Bosque has the same dreams for his program as other head coaches all across Texas.

Life is simple in Lingleville, a place where rural values and country living still rule.

The football is simple, too.

But itís still Texas. And itís still football.

And even in Lingleville, that alone is cause for excitement.

Excitement that can be heard one grunt, one yell, one blown whistle at a time.