Few traditions are as American as football in Texas. Nothing exemplifies the success earned through hard work and merit as the student athletes and staff members of the Howe High School football program volunteering their time over the summer break to improve their team’s skills and overall chances at winning a state title for their program.

“Our goal every year is to be playing over Thanksgiving,” Bulldog Head Coach Zack Hudson said of the team’s driving motivation to advance to the postseason.

While the Howe Athletic Program is a smaller team in a region dominated by schools who have been earning state titles for decades, Hudson and the Howe Bulldog football team are hard at work this summer to get ready to play even better.

As the morning sun rises over North Texas, many student athletes across the region are still asleep, taking their time over the summer to cool off by the pool and work on their tans.

But that’s not the case for the Bolldogs’ football team.

“We have a summer workout program that goes on all summer,” Hudson said. “It’s at the stadium at 7:30 in the morning.”

The advantages for the Bulldog football players are gained through working out in the conditions of the Texas heat and regularly attending the morning workout sessions at the team’s football stadium in Howe.

While the majority of their peers take it slow, the Bulldog football players of Howe are rising early nearly every morning, stepping onto a field of cool morning dew as they take the opportunity throughout this summer to improve not only their skills as players, but also their chances of earning leadership positions on the team this fall.

The players do get some time to enjoy their summer break of course — the Fourth of July holiday weekend afforded the Bulldogs some time to cool their heels by enjoying America’s Independence Day celebrations.

“We take the fourth of July weekend off,” Hudson said.

The workout program is for all of the players, but the majority of the attendees this summer have been freshmen. The large amount of freshmen is among one of the most promising classes in the program in recent history.

“It’s a pretty good class for us,” Hudson said. “We have high expectations for them.”

Hudson says the attendance has been steadily increasing every year since he began hosting the morning workout program.

“It’s not mandatory, every year our number goes up,” Hudson said. “Last year we averaged about 60-something. This year we are averaging around 71, so it’s been pretty good for us.”

The Howe football program will next host the annual Bulldog football camp starting July 30.