Springtime for football players might mean some track and field. Might mean some running and lifting. August means 2-a-day practices. It's year-round prep these days.

I remember these during the twilight of every campaign: Mud-filled, late-season high school football games. When the turf was battered, there was not much the groundskeepers could do to keep the fields of Eastern Iowa playable. Especially after rain.

One memorable game I was involved in pitted my Dubuque Senior Rams against the Washington Warriors. It was late October and rains were pelting Kingston Stadium. We played in mud up above our ankles on that field.

Players today have turf. Not all, but many play on it now like Linn Mar pictured above. Dirty jerseys are a thing of the past in many conferences across Iowa and the nation. I miss the mud.