While the typical Oak Hills High student may be relaxing this summer, 130 red-and-black clad athletes are hitting the practice field in preparation for the Bulldogs' inaugural football season in the fall.


"The kids are excited," said head coach Robert Kistner. "They're working hard. They're paying attention."


Oak Hills High principal Larry Porras credits the program's supporters for helping the team to get onto the field and get to work before the school's sports complex is completed. Leading the way is the Oak Hills Football Boosters, a group of parents and community members raising money for much-needed items like knee braces, shorts and shirts.


"We're hoping to get the booster club so big that we can help other programs such as band, baseball and cheer," club president Kevin Fugate said at the group's barbecue fundraiser last Monday.


"It's a family-type atmosphere," Kistner added. "They're a great group. I definitely asked the right man (Fugate) to do the job."


The football team worked out at Cedar Middle School until the contractor of the high school gave the green light for the team to use the practice field. Anytime Fitness, which is located near the new school on Ranchero Road, has arranged for the OHHS football players to use their weight facilities until the high school's weight room is completed later this month.


"Cedar was gracious enough to let us use their facilities," Porras said. "And Anytime Fitness is working with us, letting us work out."


Porras is very pleased with the practice field, situated between the baseball/softball field and the new stadium.


"It's park-like with trees," Porras said. "They're nice facilities," Kistner added. "It's exciting to be here."


When completed, the football stadium will be identical to Scorpion Stadium with the addition of an all-weather, rubberized track.


The bulk of OHHS players consist of incoming juniors and sophomores from Hesperia High and freshmen who graduated from Cedar Middle School.


"Hesperia High is splitting in half, basically," according to Porras.


As a parent, Fugate is thrilled at what lays ahead for his family and his son Doug, a freshman tailback and strong safety.


"I don't think we could have a better coach," Fugate said. "We're glad he came over here. We're excited we get to start at a new facility and have our son play for Coach Kistner."


For Porras, who previously was principal of Hesperia High School, it was a thrill to begin a new era and watch the "sea of red" practicing on their home turf.


"It was a treat to tell these kids, 'Welcome home!'" he said.