Gobblers Experience "Midnight Madness"

By: Damon Dillman Email
By: Damon Dillman Email

The lights were on at Broadway High School's football field at midnight Saturday.

Saturday was the Gobblers' sixth day of preseason practice. By Virginia High School League rule, teams must wait until the day six to practice in full pads or start hitting.

And the Gobblers weren't wasting a single minute in getting to work.

"They didn't want to wait until the sun came up this morning to get started," said head coach Brad Lutz. "They wanted to start when the clock struck 12."

"We've been waiting all offseason to hit full pads," junior Nathan Hooven said. "And to do it at midnight, I mean, it's excellent."

"I thought it was amazing. I've never done anything like this before," said senior Adam Caplinger.

Lutz, in his first season as head coach at Broadway, came up with the idea for the so-called "Midnight Madness" practice.

"A friend of mine that coaches in Richmond did it when he was a head coach there," he explained. "And it was one of those things that I said if I ever got a shot to be a head coach, I'd love to do it."

Bouncing from drill to drill, and shouting enthusiastically throughout the entire hour-long practice, Lutz appeared to be loving every minute of his brainchild.

And so were his players.

"It was high," Hooven said of the intensity. "Everybody's out here shouting and screaming, hitting. Everybody's getting jacked up."

"It was very intense," agreed senior Kristian Moore. "My voice is kind of hoarse after yelling so much, just because of how exciting it is."

"These kids like to hit. It's a blue collar community, and this is the fun part of football for them," Lutz said. "It's kind of fun being out here when you know everybody's sleeping, and we're here working hard and trying to get better as a football program."

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