EVART  —  It will be another midnight start of the football season for the Evart Wildcats on Monday.

But it will be a critical 2 1/2-week football preseason headed into the opener Aug. 28 at home with White Cloud.

The weight room was expected to be open this week for players, head coach Pat Craven noted. The midnight opener will be followed by practices through Friday, going from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The midnight practice, for 90 minutes, will be under the lights at the playing field.

“This will be our 11th year,” Craven said. “The kids love it, that’s why I keep doing it.”

The Wildcats are coming off a busy summer in order to get ready for the season.

“I thought we were able to do a good job with the kids that were present and preparing them for a solid foundation for what we’re looking for in our football athletes going forward this season,” Craven said. “We improved in some fundamentals and techniques and got to work with our kids and were able to get a little stronger and faster in the weight room.

“We had some kids that made some pretty big strides, not just during summer but it started in November. We had kids that made some strides.”

Craven has one main concern right now.

“Our numbers are projected to be low,” he said. “We’re going to be scratching and clawing to field a couple of teams right now. I’m hoping we’ll be in the mid-30s for everybody. We didn’t have that many come to (summer) camp. Usually we have all our kids come to our camp. We had 28 this year. But we’ll coach the heck out of the kids that are there.”