The Bureau Valley Storm were hitting the blocking sleds at Bourquin Field for Monday's first practice
The Bureau Valley Storm were hitting the blocking sleds at Bourquin Field for Monday's first practice — BCR photo/Kevin Hieronymus

MANLIUS — Things have changed over the course of time for Mat Pistole.

In the fall of 2001, he was the senior quarterback for the Bureau Valley Storm football team that would make its second straight playoff appearance.

Eighteen years later as the Storm's new head coach, he’s the one blowing the whistle rather than jumping to attention to it.

“Definitely, I’m probably more excited for practice than I was then. At the same time, it’s not any different,” he said. “You still get butterflies, you’re still rocking and rolling, wanting to fly around and it’s football season and the whistle’s blowing and the wet grass, So it’s all good stuff.”

Bureau Valley ran stations with the scoreboard clock counting down the 10-minute sessions.

“We want to keep moving and grooving to get through things,” said Pistole, a former Storm quarterback in his days who took part in the 7-on-7 drills during practice.

The rookie head coach said Monday’s first day went well.

“The first practice is always little bit messy at first, trying to get forms into the front office and stuff,” he said. “I think the kids have really understood the type of level intensity and the tempo we’re looking for, and they’ve responded really well. So, I was excited and happy how it went.”

Pistole was happy to have a morning practice the first day to beat the forecast for stormy weather later in the day. The rest of the week, they will shift to evening sessions.

“I think we lucked out there. I was joking with the coaches, I hope the rest of the conference is going this afternoon so we’ve got an edge on them,” he said with a laugh.

Bureau Valley had 46 players report for the first day of camp, including 19 upperclassmen. Pistole said he will be dressing all 15 sophomores for game nights.

Notes: Former Bureau Valley coach Ken Bourquin, the field’s namesake, as he frequently does, checked out the Storm’s practice while out walking his dog. … The Storm staff will conduct a parents' clinic from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Pistole joked with the players they could not stick around "because we’ll be talking about you.”