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Grovetown starts football season with midnight practice

Posted: August 2, 2017 - 1:05am
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Grovetown assistant coach Coco Hillary (left) watches quarterback Taylor Youngblood in a passing drill during the Warriors’ first practice in full pads early Tuesday morning at the school.

Dew rested on the grass at midnight as Grovetown's football players began warming up near one end zone.

The Warriors took advantage of the first official day the Georgia High School Association allowed football teams to practice in pads. Grovetown began at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

"It's something we did when I was in school," said second-year coach Damien Postell, who instituted the midnight practice last season. "I just thought when I became a head coach it was something I wanted to do.

"It's an opportunity to get a full-pads practice in, because with the heat-index policy, you normally don't get in a full-pads practice that first day."

Grovetown is coming off a 5-6 campaign last season that included wins over Greenbrier and Lakeside. Also, the Warriors advanced to the state playoffs for the first time in school history, falling on the road to Northside.

Players like senior offensive guard/defensive tackle Zach Demchak were ready to get this season started. The midnight practice helped get the Warriors ready for their first game, Aug. 18, at Burke County.

"It's very aggressive when the lights come on at night," Demchak said. "It's a lot of fun. A lot of energy."

Demchak added that while he enjoyed the midnight practice, it wasn't his first preference.

"It's not neat in the point that I want to be sleeping at that time, but anything for a good football practice I'll do."

Grovetown's players came to the school's open house at 6 p.m. Monday and remained at school. They ate snacks, joked around with others, threw the football in the gym - anything to stay awake for the late-night practice.

About midnight, the Warriors made their way down to the stadium field. After warming up for a few minutes, most of the players faced off against each other in a few hitting drills. Senior linebacker Shamar Cofield said he was fine with that.

"It wakes you up, because you're kind of tired," he said. "If you're not hitting, you're going to be tired."

The midnight practice went on for several hours. By 3 p.m., players were asleep inside the school. The Grovetown coaches awakened the players a few hours later, fed them breakfast, and sent them home. The team had the rest of the day off. The Warriors then had to return at 6 a.m. today for their next practice.

"It's another early wake-up call," Postell said.

 

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