Summer officially ends on Monday for the local high school football and volleyball players.
That’s the first day of practice for football teams in Class 4A down to A and for 5A and 6A teams that did not have spring training, which includes the Greenville Lions.
It’s also the first day of practice for the state’s volleyball teams and for a new University Interscholastic League sport: water polo.
The Greenville Lions will continue a recent tradition by starting practice at 12:01 a.m. on Monday under the lights at T.A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium, just after midnight on Sunday in what Greenville coach Darren Duke calls “Midnight Madness.”
“It’s fun,” said Duke. “Something the kids really enjoy. I think it’s something they all look forward to.
“We’ll have the band there, at least maybe the drumline. We’ll have a spirit group, maybe some Flaming Flashes (drill team).”
The Lions will practice about an hour and a half.
“That Midnight Madness is a lot of running around,” said Duke. “Not as much individual drills.”
The Lions will get the rest of Monday off and can sleep in late on Tuesday because they won’t be practicing again until 5 p.m. that day. Their normal practice routine will be from 5 to 7 p.m. daily.
Since they didn’t have spring training the Lions will scrimmage twice this season on Aug. 11 at Whitehouse and then against Mount Pleasant in Greenville on Aug. 18. Their season opener is scheduled for Aug. 26 at Lake Dallas.
Greenville Christian will hold its first practice at 7 a.m. on Monday at the school and then will head out at 10 a.m. to Cleek Retreat off Highway 69 between Greenville and Lone Oak. The Eagles will bunk there and hold daily practices and meetings and will return to the school on Friday morning.
“I’m trying to get it like it used to be as much as possible,” said Eagles coach Larry Uland, who has won four state six-man titles with the Eagles. “That paid off so well.”
The Eagles’ first scrimmage is planned for Aug. 13 at Campbell and the season opener is set for Aug. 27 at Dallas Lutheran.
The Greenville Lady Lions, who went 23-16 last season, will start their two-a-day volleyball practices at 9 a.m. on Monday in the Lions Den. Their sessions are from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. They have scrimmages planned for Aug. 5 at Caddo Mills and on Aug. 6 at home versus North Hopkins.
The Lady Lions’ season is to begin on Aug. 11 at the Princeton tournament.