Trojans embrace Midnight Madness

Trojans embrace Midnight Madness

Gallery

Trojans embrace Midnight Madness

By

Lincoln’s special teams unit lines up in formation during drills for the Trojans’ 24th annual Midnight Madness practice.

Lincoln’s special teams unit lines up in formation during drills for the Trojans’ 24th annual Midnight Madness practice.

Parents, former players and students came out to Lincoln High to watch the Trojans’ football team participate in the 24th annual Midnight Madness practice to kickoff the fall season.

Parents, former players and students came out to Lincoln High to watch the Trojans’ football team participate in the 24th annual Midnight Madness practice to kickoff the fall season.

Lincoln offensive lineman Tom Moss (left) gets into a contact drill during the Trojans’ Midnight Madness practice.

Lincoln offensive lineman Tom Moss (left) gets into a contact drill during the Trojans’ Midnight Madness practice.

Lincoln defensive back Larry Stevens goes through agility drills during the Trojans’ 24th annual Midnight Madness practice to mark the start of the fall football season.

Lincoln defensive back Larry Stevens goes through agility drills during the Trojans’ 24th annual Midnight Madness practice to mark the start of the fall football season.

The Lincoln football team participated in Midnight Madness at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 3, 2015. The tradition was started in 1991 to kick off the fall season.

The Lincoln football team participated in Midnight Madness at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 3, 2015. The tradition was started in 1991 to kick off the fall season.

It’s go time for Lincoln offensive lineman Tom Moss (left) as he gets ready for a contact drill during the Trojans’ Midnight Madness practice at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 3, 2015.

It’s go time for Lincoln offensive lineman Tom Moss (left) as he gets ready for a contact drill during the Trojans’ Midnight Madness practice at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 3, 2015.

Lincoln defensive back Larry Stevens rests in between drills during Midnight Madness, a Trojans’ tradition since 1991 that marks the start of the fall football season.

Lincoln defensive back Larry Stevens rests in between drills during Midnight Madness, a Trojans’ tradition since 1991 that marks the start of the fall football season.

Lincoln head coach Yusuf Shakir and assistant coach Brandon McCray address a new team of Trojans prior to Midnight Madness practice at 12:01 on Aug. 3, 2015.

Lincoln head coach Yusuf Shakir and assistant coach Brandon McCray address a new team of Trojans prior to Midnight Madness practice at 12:01 on Aug. 3, 2015.

Sweat-covered faces and gasping bodies needing water told one story.

Dew covering a field’s grass under the cover of a black sky and a well-lit moon told another.

The humidity was high. The temperature, at 79 degrees, was low.

Weird things happen at 12:01 a.m., not the least of which is a full-out football practice to mark the start of the official fall season.

Welcome to Lincoln High, home of Midnight Madness since 1991.

“I went through it and loved it,” said seventh-year Trojans head coach Yusuf Shakir, a 1996 Lincoln alum. “The thing about it is you never practice at night. It’s cool. It’s calm. The kids love it and get excited. It gets your spirits going.

“The whole philosophy is we want to be the first to practice so we can be the last to play.”

Lincoln head coach Yusuf Shakir directs players where to go during Midnight Madness drills for the start of the fall football season.

Lincoln head coach Yusuf Shakir directs players where to go during Midnight Madness drills for the start of the fall football season.

Lincoln defensive back Larry Stevens was one such player standing around late Sunday night, waiting for the midnight switch to the next day and the start of his senior season. He said the summer workouts went by quicker than he expected, even with all the 7:30 a.m. conditioning sessions and 7-on-7 tournaments to attend.

But putting on a helmet with all 80 of his teammates in tow? Well, it’s a whole other animal.

Recruiting roundup: Lincoln amping up competition

“This feels good just to come out here and work hard with everybody, see everybody back together again,” Stevens said. “These are going to be my brothers for life. Even after I go to college, we’ll still keep in touch. Even afterwards, it’s still a family. I’ll be back out here.”

Lincoln defensive back Larry Stevens stretches with his teammates as part of the Trojans’ Midnight Madness practice, a tradition since 1991 that marks the start of the fall football season.

Lincoln defensive back Larry Stevens stretches with his teammates as part of the Trojans’ Midnight Madness practice, a tradition since 1991 that marks the start of the fall football season.

Former Lincoln coach David Wilson started the tradition 24 years ago, and former players come back out to watch in the stands, along with plenty of parents and students.

Lincoln alum Taj Williams commits to TCU

From agility drills to technique training, station to station the Trojans practiced, finally culminating with a 7-on-7 scrimmage late into the night. Oh, and after a little bit of sleep, Lincoln was right back at it at 11:30 a.m. on Monday morning, albeit not to the same degree.

Lincoln shines at FSU 7-on-7 tournament

“Summer was hard and we work hard at Lincoln High School,” senior offensive lineman Casey Warming said. “It feels great. I love strapping it up and playing football. It’s my passion. The energy and excitement tonight … it was a long, hard summer with no contact. We’ve got to get down and dirty today.”

Lincoln offensive lineman Casey Warming works in unison with the rest of his o-line during Midnight Madness drills to mark the start of the fall football season.

Lincoln offensive lineman Casey Warming works in unison with the rest of his o-line during Midnight Madness drills to mark the start of the fall football season.

By the end of the week, full pads will be allowed. It’s critical to start fast and immediately begin coaching.

The first preseason games start in 17 days.

“This is what real football is,” Shakir said. “It’s like Christmas, because now you get to open your presents and see what you’ve got. All your summer practices, all the running, all the lifting, you get to see where you stand. In the summer you work on smaller details. Now you get the pads on and really get going. It’s exciting.”

More USA TODAY High School Sports
Home
https://usatodayhss.com/2015/trojans-embrace-midnight-madness
Trojans embrace Midnight Madness

Lincoln football team marks start of practices at 12:01 a.m.

I found this story on USA TODAY High School Sports and wanted to share it with you: %link% For more high school stories, stats and videos, visit http://usatodayhss.com.