HEALDTON, OK - "It takes a couple of weeks to feel everybody out. It is kind of like fighting, you have to throw a few punches to feel everybody out a little bit and that is what we are doing right now, making sure we do end up getting the right kids into the right positions that is going to be best for this football team," said Healdton head coach Mark Barrett.
That feeling out process is even more crucial for the 2018 Healdton Bulldogs as they will rely heavily on a talented group of young players.
"It is very important because the veterans can teach the younger guys the ropes and the offense," said Healdton senior center Ethan Lindsey.
"We have got some young kids that got some that got some playing time last year, so they know the plays and they know the system. That has been a big help coming right off of spring into the fall season," said Coach Barrett.
"It is very exciting getting to play with all these young ones and getting to teach them and getting to play with the ones we played with last year that got so much playing time. It should be a good learning experience for everyone," said Healdton senior running back Alex Trent.
In fact the Bulldogs were so anxious to get practice started they opened up the fall literally the first minute they could with a midnight practice.
"We are one of the few schools around here that does it. We get a jump on everybody else, we already have more time in than they do and it is a big team bonding time as well," said Trent.
"We go in at midnight and get out there right as the clock hits midnight and it is just a lot of fun. Coach Barrett was having a lot of fun. Hew was running around screaming and yelling," said Lindsey.
"Our midnight practice is like Christmas Eve and we can not wait until the stroke of midnight so we can start opening the gifts. For us this is like Christmas time. We are ready to go to work and start turning those lights on on Friday night and get after it," said Coach Barrett.