With the sole exception of the U.P. All–Star Game at the end of June, high school football has been out of season in the area since last November.
Practice is now officially underway across the entire state.
Most teams usually start at the crack of dawn on the first day, but Westwood High School had its first practice of the year at 12:01 this morning, which is as early as state rules allow.
The Patriots call it Midnight Madness, and this was the fourth straight year that Westwood kicked things off just after the stroke of midnight.
Westwood senior running back and linebacker Francois Montbrun says Midnight Madness is a great way to fire up the entire team and get a head start on the new season.
Senior quarterback Nate Clisch says because not many teams do this, it helps Westwood carve out an identity.
He’s also excited about what he says is an excellent team coming back.
Last year’s Patriots team enjoyed a 6–2 record in the regular season.
The neighboring Ishpeming Hematites ended Westwood’s season in the first round of the MHSAA playoffs.
Westwood head coach Jon Beckman wouldn’t say what kind of record he expects this year’s team to put up, but he says he expects total effort from all his players.
He says if they can put in that effort and improve as the season progresses, they should be able to win games again this year.
The Midnight Madness practice lasted an hour and a half.
The season begins on Friday, August 24th.
The Patriots will begin the year on the road with a non–conference opponent, Stephenson.