BIG RAPIDS \u2013 It\u2019s like Nov. 15 for deer hunters or the last Saturday in April for trout fishermen. In this case, it\u2019s Aug 8 and opening day for fall sports athletes, who can practice officially for the first time as they get ready for the fall season. Some sports teams even opened at midnight as a fun way to get going. Some sports will be starting with actual competition next week already. Football will begin for area teams on Aug. 25 or 26, varsity, or earlier in the week for JVs. Evart started with its first practice with midnight madness from midnight to 1:30 a.m. The Wildcats were expected to resume 3-6 p.m. "The first day of practice is always full of excitement and anticipation," Evart coach Pat Craven said. "The kids love Midnight Madness. It brings in a new school year and another opportunity to showcase our growth and hard work over the off season."\u00a0 Big Rapids football is set to go for the week, from 5 to 9 p.m. each day. For Morley Stanwood, it\u2019s Monday-Thursday 6-9 p.m.; Friday 6-8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to noon at the high school stadium. \u201cI am most looking forward to just getting started for this season,\u201d Reed City Scot Shankel said. \u201cI am looking forward to seeing improvement and just to continue to work as a team.\u201d During the week, Reed City is have three practices each day: 3-5 p.m., 5:30-7:30 p.m. and 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. Chippewa Hills is having practice 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday of this week. \u201cI look forward to getting back on the field and showing the improvements the kids have made since last season,\u201d coach Mark PeLong said. \u201cIt\u2019s still a very young team with only three seniors out of 30 players so we have to learn as quickly as possible.\u201d Up until two years ago, other sports started two days after football, But now they can start at the same time. \u201cOn day one, I always love to see the girls,\u201d Morley Stanwood volleyball coach Robin Kozuch said. I really miss them in the off-season. I also love to see who has been working in the off-season. It is usually pretty apparent who has put in the time.\u201d Big Rapids golfers are practicing from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday to Friday of this week at Katke Golf Course. \u201cI'm looking forward to seeing how this young group bonds with each other,\u201d coach Mark Posey said. \u201cWe have a lot of new players and it is going to take some time to get everyone adjusted.\u201d The MHSAA said nearly 95,000 athletes statewide are anticipated to begin practices on Monday, and kick off the Fall 2022 season across nine sports for which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors postseason tournaments. Teams in girls and boys cross country, football, Lower Peninsula girls golf, boys soccer, Lower Peninsula girls swimming & diving, Upper Peninsula girls tennis and Lower Peninsula boys tennis, and girls volleyball may begin practice Monday. Competition begins Aug. 15 for golf and tennis, Aug. 17 for cross country, soccer, swimming & diving and volleyball, and Aug. 25 for varsity football. Football teams at all levels must have 12 days of preseason practice \u2013 over a period of 16 calendar days \u2013 before their first game.