WEST ISHPEMING — High school football practices kicked off today and teams from across the U.P. got up at the crack of down to get prepared for the upcoming season, except for one local team who has made it a tradition to be the first ones up to get ready for some football.
Midnight Madness took place earlier this morning at Westwood High School and a good crowd showed up to support the Patriots. The team is currently in transition as new coach Scott Syrjala is taking over for John Jessen who is now serving as the team’s assistant coach and the transition has been smooth so far.
“It was a tough decision but in able to come back here, back to where my roots are…I graduated from here…back to my alma mater, that’s exciting. The transition has been great. The administration, the coaching staff, the kids…everybody has been great with it,” Syrjala said.
Westwood went 6–3 last year and are looking to build off of the successful campaign. But Syrjala said it’s not going to be easy.
“We got some things we got to shore up. We’re kind of behind the eight ball. New offense, new defense. Just the way I do things, the way I coach, the way our coaching staff coaches. Everything’s going to be new and everything’s going to be different. So we’re a little bit behind but already tonight, the kids are all ears and they’re willing to learn so that’s all you can ask,” said Syrjala.
The Patriots will open their season Friday the 29th at home with a non–conference game versus Chetek–Weyerhaeuser of Wisconsin.