Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local Sports

August 2, 2010

Midnight Madness a success

THOMASVILLE — The Madness started Sunday morning.

It’ll continue this week at Thomas County Central.

The Yellow Jackets held their annual Midnight Madness event in the wee hours of Sunday morning. The event was a prelude to Central’s first full week of fall practice this week. As the norm, several hundred Yellow Jackets fans were in attendance to get an early glimpse at the ’10 football team.

“It never gets old,” senior quarterback Eric Dodson said. “When we come out here and you’ve got this type of atmosphere, it just feels like gametime. I like to step up to the pressure and really come out to compete. That’s what I’m all about, is competing. That’s what it’s all about, Thomas County Central football.”

Senior defensive end Ray Drew added, “To be honest with you, I would say, other than Friday night, this is one of the most exciting parts of the season. It’s just a way for the fans to come out and see what kind of talent we have, how strong we’re going to be in the upcoming year.”

The team practiced until about 1:45 a.m. as players were able to wear full gear for the first time since spring practice. Hitting was the emphasis as several collisions were made that brought ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the Yellow Jacket faithful.

“I thought there were some folks flying around,” Central coach Bill Shaver said.

“Naturally, there were some mistakes made out there for the first time being out in pads. But I was pleased with the effort, the way they were flying around, the way guys were running to the ball. It was a good night for the Yellow Jackets.”

Among the fans in attendance were former Central players, Reshard Cliett, Caleb Heard and Chris Shiver.

“I miss it but they got me pumped up,” Shiver said. “They look good this year.

“I’m just ready to watch them play.”

Following the practice, the big concern Shaver had was the effort he’ll receive this week. With school starting back and the heat scorching during the afternoon practices, the atmosphere is quite different than the one the Yellow Jackets played in Sunday morning.

“It’s going to take a lot out of us,” Dodson said. “The heat’s going to be a factor but we’ve just got to fight through it, like coach always said. We’ve got to have all total effort.”

Shaver noted. “They’re going to school all day long. Then you have to come out here and it’s 100 degrees and the heat index is a 115 and there’s nobody watching practice anymore. All that excitement’s gone.

“You’ve got to make sure you have that inner motor inside to get you going because you don’t have all this exterior stuff to get you going.”

Central practiced in shoulder pads and shorts on Monday. It'll do the same on Thursday after the team holds picture day.


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