LHS coach Dick Reamon said the 52 runners 27 boys, 25 girls at Monday's practice were about the total he expected, but wouldn't mind a few more.
"It's pretty close to the number I wanted to have," Reamon said. "With that many, it'll probably give us 21 healthy kids on each side during the season."
The Lions' boys squad returns five of the top seven runners from its second-place team last fall, while the girls, who were seventh at state, have six of their top seven runners back.
The Lions' season starts Sept. 7 at the Overland Park Aquinas Invitational.
The LHS girls golf team spent Monday at Alvamar, though it normally would be at Lawrence Country Club.
"They had a tournament today, so we had kind of a casual practice," said coach Mike Lewis.
The normal rotation sends LHS to the country club on Mondays, Alvamar on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Eagle Bend on Thursdays and Fridays.
Lewis had 13 golfers at the first practice, though he expects a few more to surface once they complete their physicals. With nine returning golfers, he said the team could surprise some people once its begins its season Aug. 29.
Once again, Lawrence High and Free State will combine teams for practices, then compete as separate schools once the season begins Sept. 12 at the Shawnee Mission East quadrangular.
That's more than three weeks away, though coach Kathy Johnson said the athletes could use even more time for practicing routines and building skills.
"It's one of those sports of perfection," Johnson said. "Most would say (three weeks is) not enough time."
There were eight FSHS gymnasts and seven LHS gymnasts at Monday's practice, though Johnson expects a few more Lions to show.
Coach Keith Nelson had slightly fewer players at the first practice of the season than he had last year, but he accounted for the difference with only seven freshmen thus far.
"We had a few more last year, about 63, and there's the possibility that someone didn't get a physical turned in or something," Nelson said.
Still, with 55 players at Monday's practice at Holcom, Nelson's excited about this year's prospects.
"My kids came in extremely fit and well prepared," he said.
They'll have tryouts through Wednesday, another practice session Thursday, then have an intrasquad scrimmage Friday, tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Youth Sports Inc. fields.
Lions coach Dick Wedel welcomed 31 girls to Monday's practice, though he said his team could have 40 players by the end of the week. LHS had 47 out last year, but a majority of those players were seniors. Wedel hadn't counted on 16 sophomores.
"I'm seeing with a lot of new players very little experience with tennis," Wedel said. "So we're doing drills for grounding them in the sport's fundamentals so they can improve faster in the next few weeks. "
For his returning varsity players, there's not much time until the season opener Aug. 28 at Blue Valley Northwest.
Coach Jo Huntsinger wasn't at Monday's practice she probably won't be there until after friend Kelly Petry's funeral on Wednesday but assistant coach Rachael Lindsey said practice was typical.
"It was pretty good for the first day," Lindsey said. "There was a lot of stuff we had to go over, so it took awhile."
LHS will continue to evaluate players until Friday, when the coaches will post varsity, junior varsity and sophomore teams after practice that night. From there, it's two weeks until an intrasqaud scrimmage Sept. 7, then the first varsity quadrangular Sept. 12.