With the official start of football practice just a couple days away, first-year Southeast coach Jon Lovingood’s stamp on the program is already visible.

On Monday, it was right there on the Raiders’ backs.

As they went through the first phase of “Iron Man” at the school — coaches timed players in the 40- and 10-yard dash and recorded their maximum lifts in power clean — almost all the Raiders wore T-shirts with a simple motto on the back: Work Hard. Col. 3:23. Be Proud.

The words, with the exception of the Bible verse — it reads, in part, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, ” — came from Lovingood. They’re a clear revelation of his vision for the program, which hasn’t had a winning season since 1986.

“That’s been my verse that I’ve carried with me ever since I became a head coach,” Lovingood said. “The being proud part is something that a lot of people here at the school have trouble with, being proud to be a Raider, because it’s looked down on a lot. You’re never going to be as good as you can be until you’re proud of who you are.”

Attitude, Lovingood believes, is an important part of what the Raiders will be about this season. So he’s tried to impart that to his players since taking over in the spring.

It was also the approach he took during this summer’s voluntary workouts, where attendance was strong, Lovingood said.

“We’ve been kind of tough on them,” Lovingood said. “We’re pretty demanding. We’re trying to get an attitude thing working.”

During Monday’s tests, though, the atmosphere was mostly relaxed.

While coaches issued a few pointers on form, most of the noise came from the Raiders, who playfully teased each other and competed for honor among teammates.

That was good to see, senior wingback Blake Thomas said.

“It brings out the competitor in you,” he said. “We are going to compete this year more. We learn to compete against each other, so that when we compete against another team, we’ll compete together. That will make us more of a unit.”

As for taking to their new coach, Thomas believes the transition is already more than complete for the Raiders.

“With the time that we’ve spent together, we know each other pretty well,” Thomas said. “We know what to expect from him, he knows what to expect from us.”

Thomas, who cleaned a team-best 250 pounds and was one of three Raiders with a 4.5-seconds time in the 40, was among the top performers. Another was senior Kameron Ridley, who cleaned 245 and ran a 4.5.

Junior Caleb Pratt also ran a 4.5, while senior Ivan Ruelas’ 5.3 was the best among Southeast’s linemen.

The measurements — players were also weighed and had their height marked; they will test bench press, squat and vertical leap today — were meant as a measure of progress for coaches.

Lovingood said making gains in strength, especially in the lower body, are crucial to the Raiders’ overall progress.

“It’s huge,” he said. “That’s where we’ve got to make the greatest strides are, in our legs. We’ve got to make our legs stronger. We’ve made a lot of strides toward that in the last four or five months. This is a leg-strength, power-clean game.”

Yet with the opening game at Cass just more than a month away, the spirit among the Raiders on Monday was welcome, too.

“They like this,” Lovingood said. “The kids really respond to this. They love to see what they’ve done. And they look pretty good.”

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