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Leesville holds annual 'Midnight Madness'

Leesville Road Midnight Madness (July 31, 2017)

Jul, 31 2017, 5:09 AM

​Leesville Road’s football team held its annual “Midnight Madness” early Monday morning in Raleigh, the team’s first full practice with returning Pride head coach Chad Smothers.

Smothers guided the Pride from 2011-2013 before leaving to become the athletic director at Knightdale.

Leesville posted a combined record of 32-6, including two undefeated regular seasons and Cap 8 Conference championships in 2011 and 2012 with Smothers at the helm.

“I really believe this is where I belong,” Smothers said. “I’m just excited to be back, and I’m very fortunate to get the opportunity to come back.”

The Pride hit the field at midnight on Monday for roughly three hours – the earliest possible time teams are allowed to hold full practices to start the 2017 season.

“The benefit of it is that we just put in a two-and-a-half-hour practice, just like everyone else will today,” Smothers said. “I think it got the kids charged and excited for kicking off.

“That was one of the things I wanted to accomplish, me being a new coach here coming back, is to get the kids excited about football, [and ] to get the community excited for football.”

The team went through a full practice slate, cycling through individual and positional drills, splitting the field into halves.

Leesville senior offensive lineman Peyton Winstead – featured predominantly at left tackle on Monday – said the set up for practice at such a late hour is different, but the cool temperatures made for a more enjoyable experience.

“Everybody’s kind of tired and slacking off a bit, but we’re doing the best we can,” Winstead said. “I thought we did pretty good today. The energy was up at the beginning because there were a bunch of people in the stands, but we kept it going pretty good.”

Winstead says he relishes the opportunity to be a leader for Leesville and is ready to do whatever it takes to get his team ready for battle.

“It’s an honor to be a role model for the team,” he said, “I just try to help our guys out as much as possible, and get the team going before practice and before games when they start coming up.”

Leesville’s first test will be on Aug. 18 when it hosts Wakefield in Raleigh for the Pride’s home opener.

web_editor : Jon Stout