Members of the Doherty High School football team go through practice after midnight Monday morning. The Spartans have started practice as early as possible the last three years.

At 11:59 p.m. before the first day of fall sports practice, the stadium lights at Garry Berry began to glow.

At 12:01 a.m. Monday, a whistle blew sending more than 100 Doherty football players down the field for warm ups.

Fall sports season was officially open.

For the past three years the Doherty football team has taken full advantage of the first official day of practice, taking pride in the program’s dedication to “outworking their opponents,” according to coach Jeff Krumlauf.

“While our opponents are asleep right now, we are getting to work,” said Krumlauf, who is in his fifth season of coaching and third year running the midnight madness practice.

“More than anything though this is creating a memory for our team, for our coaches, for our kids, for the community and it’s just something special.”

Currently the Doherty roster lists 155 athletes, including 48 juniors who were freshman during the first midnight madness year.

“After that first year we asked all of the kids what their favorite memories were, and almost every one of them put the midnight practice, so we said this is something we need to do every year,” Krumlauf said.

“We heard about the midnight madness in the basketball realm and it is a little bit easier to do inside a gym, but we said “Why not?” And that kind of sparked it.”

Despite being a memorable event for the players, Krumlauf and his coaching staff run their midnight practice like any other day, starting with conditioning tests, drills and position work.

“Everyday we embrace constantly getting better and to be the first ones on the field in the state as far as we know, that’s the first step to that improvement, it all starts tonight,” Krumlauf said.

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