Reed City kicks off midnight madness

REED CITY — Midnight came on Monday and so did the start of another Reed City football season.

Coach Monty Price and Reed City staff welcomed 70 players on all three levels to the first practice at midnight on Monday to open the preseason, which will lead to the opener on Aug. 26 at home against Big Rapids.

“We’re still expecting one or two more,” Price said. “Tonight, we focused a little bit on defensive pursuit and tackling and worked on our passing game.”

The midnight kickoff has been a tradition for several years at Reed City.

“It’s different. I think we started it in 2005 and it took off,” he said. “The kids have a little tradition of dressing a little cray and the community comes out to support it. It’s stood the test of a few years and will probably be here when I’m long gone.”

Since the field is in a neighborhood and the practice goes from midnight to 1:30 a.m., Price said the neighbors might complain of noise “sometimes. But I think when they realize it’s for the kids, we don’t get too much flack for it.”

Practices continue during regular daylight hours the rest of the week. Many of the players came into the preseason with a strong summer resume.

“A majority have, about 55 of them were at most of our camps,” Price said. “So we have a handful that haven’t but we’ll catch them up quick. Those that are here, I’m pleased with their progress. They’re right up to speed.”

Keith Fink, a senior right tight end, is among the returning Reed City seniors anxious to get the season started.

“We had a pretty good season,” he said of the 2010 campaign that ended at 6-4 after a loss to Menominee in the playoffs. “I feel like this one is going to be better. Everyone is going to step it up this year. I feel we’re capable of doing what we did last year and more.”

Fink worked on football just about every day during the summer to stay in shape for football. He’ll be focusing mostly on blocking to support the run-oriented Reed City offense with some occasional pass catching.

He’ll play noseguard on defense. “I’m quick over the linemen,” he said.