W.L. Central gets a head start on the football season with its 10th annual 'Midnight Madness' football practiceFootball  |
WALLED LAKE – Why wait?
That’s the question asked by the Walled Lake Central football team for each of the past 10 years.
And for each of the 10 years that Bob Meyer has been head coach of the Vikings, Central has held it’s ‘Midnight Madness’ football practice, getting underway at midnight of the first morning teams across the state are allowed to hold team practices.
Meyer said that after a disappointing 2013 season, his team is more than ready to get the 2014 campaign underway at midnight Monday morning.
“Especially after last season was such a disappointment, with all of the injuries and coming up short in big games, we had two games that we were right into the thick of things and we just came up short,” he said. “So you remember that, it site in your craw and you don’t want to wait. So tonight, we get to get going, make corrections and one of the things we keep talking about is to finish. We want to finish games strong this year.”
With Central returning several key players from last year’s team, including quarterback Nick Krumm, who is entering his third year as the starting signal caller and fourth year as a starter, the Vikings have been chomping at the bit to get the 2014 season started.
Krumm said that with last year not playing out like the Vikings had originally expected, it has ignited he and his teammates to try and get out on the field as quickly as possible Monday morning.
“I think it definitely lights a fire under people’s butts,” he said. “And it definitely gets us to get going and have a better season than the one we had last year.”
The idea first came up in the first year under Meyer when former assistant coach and current Livonia Stevenson head coach Randy Micallef suggested the idea to bring a level of excitement in the coaching staff’s first year.
“One of the coaches, coach Micallef, who’s now the head coach at Livonia Stevenson said that it would be a really neat idea, and the kids really got excited about it,” he said. “It’s become out tradition. The coaches might not be as excited about it as the kids, we don’t rebound as well as the kids, but you don’t sleep the night before anyways, you’re just lying there excited, thinking about it, so let’s just get after it now.”
Along with the 10th annual midnight practice, the Vikings also unveiled their new chrome helmets, which will be used in place of their previous dark blue helmets.
Krumm said that for he and his teammates to be among the first players on a football field every season is something that’s obviously exciting year in and year out and they were ready to get started once again Monday morning.
“Every year is just really exciting to be the first ones out on the field,” he said. “Just to be out on the field with all of your teammates and we’re just ready to go.”
While the tradition is now 10 years old for the Vikings, the excitement level has never changed for the players and coaches as Central to get their first practice of the year started under the lights.
Meyer said that with parents and students coming out to watch the practice throughout the night every year, that along with playing under the lights continues to add to the excitement level for his players.
“They’re very excited about this,” he said. “Knowing that people come out and watch the practice and read about it in the paper, they want to make sure they put their best foot forward and it’s a good motivator for the kids.”
The Vikings will have the rest of Monday off once practice ends in the morning and will return to the field for day two of practice on Tuesday.