EAGLE RIVER - High school football season kicks off in about a month across the Northwoods.
That means it's time for teams to start holding contact days, meaning coaches are allowed to hold practices with their players.
That means it's time to hit things.
"It just feels right," said Northland Pines football coach AJ Zaiya.
Although it's not quite time to hit people yet, the Northland Pines Eagles are just happy to be hitting something.
"This is the first chance of the summer to get all the kids together and have coaches working on individual things, so we always look forward to these days," Zaiya said.
It's one of five times in the offseason when coaches are allowed to instruct players.
The day's most important purpose has nothing to do with tactics or conditioning.
"It's more of getting your mind ready for football just in the middle of the summer before everything starts," junior Jack Van Wormer said. "If most people are there, then we don't have to pound that kind of stuff during the actual season.
Some players already have their minds ready for football.
"All season you're thinking about this day, you're thinking about the first day," senior Tucker Wittkopf said. "We're there. We're ready to hit people."
One of Northland Pines' mottos is "burn rubber," a reference to a drill that involves two teammates lifting this massive tire end over end.
Making the tire heavy enough for two people, like everything else with contact day, is an intentional choice.
"I just hope they're ready to work together," Zaiya said. "This week is all about coming together and getting things done as a team and I just hope this kind of sets the tone to finish the summer out strong."
Northland Pines' first game of the season is against Wittenberg-Birnamwood on August 17.