Battling for positions, 100 degree heat and the pure physical nature of football can lead to a wide array of emotions after the first week of camp.

Off the field, players can be the best of friends but while on the turf it is all business as the Waxahachie Indians enter the 2011 season “mission minded” searching to prove that missing the playoffs in 2010 was a one-year hiccup.

One of the biggest aspects of a successful team is team unity and the Indians hit the lanes at HillTop Superbowl Thursday and the indoor pool at Southwestern Assemblies of God University on Friday in search of a strong team bond.

“Everybody is together, playing and having fun. It might not look like much, we are just messing around and joking a lot, but we need this to go where we want to go this year,” senior linebacker/fullback Hayden Howell said.

In an effort to unite the new faces on the 2011 varsity Indians, Waxahachie coaches broke away from the practice field and divided players into a variety of groups. Linemen bowled with skill positions and seniors bowled with the younger players to bring the entire team together.

“Every year we come out with some kind of family-group thing that we try to do a little bonding together,” Waxahachie head coach David Ream said. “We have climbed walls, done ropes courses and the last couple of years we came out and bowled. When it is 104 outside this is probably the best place to be. We talked to them a little bit and they really enjoy this kind of camaraderie and a little competition while joking with each other. It is something to get away from the practice field and enjoy each other’s company and we get to enjoy them at this time too.”

With more than seven lanes packed full of Indians, the bowling alley was full for two hours Thursday as the players enjoyed the cool indoor temperatures and the chance to get to know one another off the field.

“You have to have stuff like this,you just have to spend time together. We are together all the time on the field, always focused on one subject. It is nice to get together and just have fun, not being so focused,” Howell said. “Getting away from the field is relaxing and helps us build friendships that will carry over once we get back on the field.”

With the two days of team bonding behind them the Indians took the field in full pads Saturday in an inter-squad scrimmage in preparation for this week’s duel with Mansfield Legacy.

Prior to Friday’s scrimmage the Indians will hold “Meet the Indians” Thursday night to introduce the community to the boys suiting up for the football teams as well as all the other members of Waxahachie fall sports. “Meet the Indians” starts at 8 p.m.

Details for “Meet the Indians” and the scrimmage with Legacy will be released this week as renovations at Lumpkins Stadium continue making scheduling annual events a little tricky.