The Marquette High
and Rockwood Summit High
football teams came together for a joint practice session at Marquette on Thursday, as both teams' summer camp schedules drew to a close.
The Mustangs and Falcons went through drills together, scrimmaged and ended the day with a relay competition that showed off the players' strength and endurance.
Rockwood School District Superintendent Dr. Mark Miles was also in attendance, accepting an invitation to stop by from the coaches.
"It was an awesome experience to have him out here while we were playing another Rockwood school," Marquette Coach Michael Stewart said. "It's great in the summer anytime you get to play someone else, let alone another Rockwood school. You know you're on a very level playing field as far as athleticism goes, so it just tells you how far along you are, what worked well and what you need to work on."
Miles met with players and coaches from both teams, and Stewart and Rockwood Summit Coach Eric Stewart each presented the superintendent with a team T-shirt.
"It was just good to meet him," Eric Stewart said. "It's good to see that Dr. Miles wants to be visible and wants to get to know the kids he leads."
The teams gathered for a lunch provided by the Ballwin-based D1 Training Center. Dan Connolly, a Marquette grad, Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots and co-owner and operator of the Ballwin D1 location, was on hand to help put the teams through their paces during practice. Both teams begin fall practice on Aug. 12, the first day of school, and kick off their regular seasons Aug. 30.
Miles also took the time to walk up the hill from the football stadium and drop in on the Marquette marching band practice. A former trumpet player himself, Miles met with students, directors and parents and even took part in one of the band's spirit activities.
"It's so enjoyable to see our students out competing and preparing for the season," Miles said. "Athletics, arts and academics are important parts in a memorable educational experience for our students. Being involved in activities at school helps students create connections with staff members, enhance school spirit and support each other."