Many students may be dreading next week's return to school, but the Portage Collegiate student-athletes have a lot to look forward to. Athletic director Jo-Anne Clark-Gillespie says the Trojans football team has already begun practicing.

"They're in their second week on the field. Coach (Brendon) Brydges is pretty excited with the numbers that turned out," Clark-Gillespie explains. "It's tough getting the kids out in the summer with other commitments, so he had a good turnout for August. Their season starts really quick."

The first game of the season for the football team goes down on Thursday, September 7 at PCI.

Clark-Gillespie says volleyball tryouts at the varsity level will begin on the first day back (September 7) for the boys and girls teams. The junior varsity volleyball teams will both begin on the following Monday, September 11.

Golf tryouts and the Saints Hockey fall camp also begin on the first Monday of the school year.

"Athletics is a very, very important part of education. It's nice to get it up and running, and it gets the kids involved right off the hop. The new kids to the school see what's going and then they want to get involved. We're really excited, as always, to get it off and running," Clark-Gillespie explains."It doesn't matter how many years you've been teaching or involved in coaching, when a new season is approaching, you get excited. I don't think the kids realize how much the coaches actually look forward to it. Those relationships that you build with the student-athletes and their parents and the memories that you make are second to none. As much as it gets pretty busy, it's nice to look forward to having that."