Football teams open practice schedules on Monday

REED CITY — Summer is over, as far as football coaches and players are concerned. Monday is the big day with the opening of preseason practice. The following week will feature a scrimmage, followed by the season openers on Thursday, Aug. 29.

Here’s what the three area schools have in mind for football:

EVART 

The Evart Wildcats open the practice schedule midnight on Monday at the game field. It’s the ninth year for the midnight opener.

“The kids like it,” said Evart coach Pat Craven. “It’s a good way to get things going.”

Practices for the rest of the week are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the practice field.

PINE RIVER

It was a sure sign that football is near when Pine River coaches started issuing equipment on Monday.

Next Monday will be Pine River’s longest day. The players report to camp on Sunday and will spend the night at the school and practice different times Monday before leaving 5 p.m. those days. There will generally be one long practice session, rather than two shorter ones.

“We start at 8:30 in the morning and will be there into the afternoon,” Pine River coach Terry Martin said. “Our school district is so big that driving back and forth becomes a hassle for some of them.”

REED CITY

It’s another season of Midnight Madness at the Reed City football field to open the practice schedule Monday. The practice usually goes to 1:30 a.m.

Coach Monty Price said the two-time defending Central State Activities Association champions will probably do two practices late on Monday.

During the week, the Coyotes will have early practice at 7 a.m. and also 7 p.m.

The midnight opener started about eight years ago.

“I actually don’t like it,” Price laughed. “The kids do. It’s hard on an old guy to stay up that late.”

This week, players are doing strength training.