PHOTO: West Orange-Stark football players take a conditioning run under the watchful eye of coach Cornel Thompson Wednesday as the team held a voluntary workout.

By Dave Rogers / For The Record

While Josh Smalley was sending notice Tuesday his Orangefield football team planned to start voluntary practices in a week, West Orange-Stark coach Cornel Thompson was already on the practice field.

Thirty-two players showed up for the Mustangs’ first practice session since Aug. 24, when then-Hurricane Harvey was bearing down on the Gulf Coast.

“We’re getting ready to play Bridge City a week from Friday (Sept. 15),” Thompson said.

Bridge City coach Dwayne DuBois said Wednesday night he couldn’t yet confirm that the county’s two most successful football teams a year ago would open the 2017 Orange County football season next week in Orange.

“I will let you know about the WOS game,” he said.

But DuBois did announce a voluntary practice for his team Thursday at 5 p.m.

Area teams haven’t been on a football field since Aug. 24, because of being out of school for Tropical Storm Harvey.

All schools are currently closed because of flooding.

Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s coach Randy Crouch has scheduled a voluntary practice for 5 p.m. Thursday.

“Those who can make it, great. Those that can’t, totally understandable,” Crouch wrote on Twitter.

Thompson said of the 32 players showed up for Tuesday’s practice, about half of them varsity players.

“I’m hoping we’ll get a lot more [Wednesday] now that word has gotten out,” the coach said.

The coach of the two-time defending state champion Mustangs, Thompson said some of his players had been able to stay in their homes while others were forced out by the flooding caused by historic rainfall that measured 50 inches in some spots.

The coach said he thought he’d lost a couple of players who have already enrolled in school in Louisiana.

Orangefield and LCM will make their storm-delayed season debuts Sept. 22, when the two teams play each other in Orangefield.

The Bobcats footballers will begin workouts at 9 a.m. Sept. 11, but the Lady Bobcats volleyball team began workouts Tuesday.

District play for volleyball begins Sept. 15, but the players should be somewhat prepared since they played up to 20 predistrict matches before the storm.

The start of football district play on Oct. 13 would seem to be too soon for teams looking to shake off the rust and mildew. But Thompson isn’t worried.

“They all flooded,” he said of district opponents. They’re in the same boat, so to speak.