HELENA -- The official start of fall is not until Sept. 23, but Friday was the first step in that direction as high school football made it's return. Helena High and Helena Capital hit the field Friday before the dew evaporated from the field.
This season marks the second year the Bengals will be led by Scott Evans, and much like his players, he was happy to finally get back out on the field.
"I'm excited. You walk across that street there, you know it's time to practice. You get through all the administrative stuff and all the things you're doing all summer to get ready for this day," said Evans with a smile as his team stretched behind him. "Being on the field is the greatest thing we have. That's the best thing, is to be out here with the kids and be here with the coaches again. "
On the flip side of the Helena crosstown rivalry, Helena Capital is met with a unique situation. According to head coach Kyle Mihelish, many spots on the field are spoken for, with backups ready to step in should something happen to a starter. However, it's that battle between the two players that Mihelish is relishing.
"We have a good idea who our [starters] and [backups] are, but it's going to be what [backups] are going to challenge our [starters] for time," said Mihelish. "Maybe even taking over the spot."
That isn't to say that all positions on both squads are spoken for. Both teams have to replace key contributors from last year's teams in less than two weeks.
Helena Capital will open its season on the road against the Billings Senior Broncs, and the Helena High Bengals will host the Great Falls CMR Rustlers on Aug. 30.