Butler, Centerville hold Midnight Hits
When the clock struck midnight, it was finally time for contact.
"Physicality, excitement, you know, energy,” Centerville head football coach Ron Ullery said. “Guys, they have been itching. They have been itching."
"It's such a relief to actually play football, and get after it," Butler senior outside linebacker Jake Demoss said.
"For the first time out here, you do get a little bit anxious, but you know it gets you ready for the season,” Centerville senior defensive back Evan Franzman said. “You get excited, amped and ready to go."
In Centerville, it's a tradition renewed.
"I don't know exactly when it started or when it stopped, I think 70s or 80s, but it fizzled out for a little bit and then it came back in 2002 and it was in front of about five dads and six dads and then it's just grown from there,” Ullery said. “Vendors started getting involved, mother's club, quarterback club, everyone getting involved, and it's becoming a really big thing."
Fans braved the familiar football weather to fill the bleachers at Butler, making for a familiar atmosphere.
"When we were walking out I thought it was a game,” Butler senior safety Jack Mitchell said. “I was ready to go. I thought it was Perry week one but it's a blast. I love coming out here with the team getting the crowd into it."
Even the coaches are pumped for the experience.
“It's really exciting and you know you can watch the kids when they go in to get dressed, you know you can feel that there is an energy level,” Butler head football coach Nathan Hyatt said. “When we come out there and we notice, everything is just turned up a notch, the pursuit to the football and everything, because they're counting down waiting for midnight to get some hitting in."
Things got competitive in the Oklahoma drills, but ultimately brought the teams together and is a nice precursor to Friday night lights.