LAKEVIEW, Mich -- August 11 is the first day that high school football teams can practice around the state of Michigan, so Lakeview High School was on the field the first minute that they were allowed: midnight.
"I think midnight practice is really important, because I think the community really buys into it and more importantly the kids buy into it," said second-year head coach Sean Rinehart. "They get really excited about it. I kept hearing about it. We have a countdown clock in our locker room that has been counting down to this, and we've had workouts all summer, and the kids keep saying, 'We've got two days left, three days left,' and they get really into it because they know that the first minute we can come play and come practice, we're going to do it to try and get better for the next season."
It's the second year the Wildcats have had Midnight Madness. Rinehart started it when he took over the program last year.
"Actually I couldn't sleep today," said senior quarterback Nate Shurlow. "I tried to take a nap today to get ready, but couldn't do it. I was pretty excited, but I'm all right right now."
But midnight practice is not the toughest, Shurlow said. "Usually the second practice is what really kills you."
The team planned to follow the midnight practice with another at 5 a.m.
Lakeview was 7-3 last season and finished third in the CSAA, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2006.