"It was a really good start to the season, good first practice, amazing tempo, good physicality, everybody was excited to get out there," said Reeder, Yorkville's senior safety and a South Dakota State recruit. "And it was nice weather. It's water. It's Illinois, you never know what you're going to get."
A head start is especially helpful to the Foxes as they head into the great unknown.
Yorkville is coming off a bounce-back season, 8-3 and the program's first playoff appearance and win since 2014. But it will be tough sledding getting back there, as the Foxes begin their maiden voyage along with West Aurora in the Southwest Prairie Conference.
The SPC's West Division, in particular, looks rugged, as the six teams combined for a 45-17 record last season. There's a reason why McGuire said Monday that the season opener, a crossover game against Joliet Central Aug. 30 in Yorkville, is his biggest yet.
"We've emphasized that we have to get off to a very strong start with the difficulty of our schedule," McGuire said. "The nice thing is we have a group with experience that I think we can get off to a good start with. That's not coach talk, that's realistic talk. We have to hit the ground running. I think we're in a good spot."
The Foxes indeed seem to have an ideal class to join a new league with, a talented returning core led by Reeder.
Reeder, honorable All-State as a junior and two-time All-Area selection in Kendall County, had 81 tackles last fall, 16 for loss.
He had a busy offseason, highlighted by a commitment to South Dakota State in June. His Midwest BOOM 7-on-7 team beat a team coached by Carolina Panthers star Cam Newton in Florida, taking third at nationals.