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Cool start to practice; midnight madness approaching

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The Guthrie football program prepared for it all summer. The players were dreading it and perhaps maybe just a little so too was the BlueJay coaches.

The Guthrie heat has disappeared for the first two days of practice, but the players and coaches know the Oklahoma heat will eventually return sometime.

“I am pleased it has not been as hot as we have seen this summer,” head coach Rafe Watkins said in reference to the warmest month (July) on record.

Watkins was pleased with the first day of practice that saw temperatures stay in the mid 80’s and Wednesday’s practice that had a October morning feeling with temperatures staying put in the 70’s throughout the majority of the five-hour practice.

“I knew we would be in good shape coming in and we were, but I was interested in seeing how we would come out here mentally and the first day was good all around.”

Guthrie will continue to work out in shorts and helmets (as mandated by the OSSAA) on Thursday. Friday is the first day teams can go full pads and the Jays will not waste anytime getting after it.

Full pad practices can begin at 12:01 a.m. and the Jays will do just that when they hit the field and take part in Midnight Madness. The early morning practice will run a normal two hours and 15 minutes.

The last time players talked Watkins into a midnight work-out was the 2007 Jays, who went on to a perfect 14-0 season capped off with a state championship.

The 2011 Jays will hope to repeat some of those 2007 accomplishments. They will have a chance along with a hand full of 5A teams to win the final game of the season come December.

Booker T. Washington is expected to be the consensus No. 1 team when polls are released. The defending state champs lost players to graduation, but the Hornets have made a habit of rebuilding and making deep playoff runs.

The season opener for Guthrie will be September 2nd when they travel to Duncan. Before the start of the regular season, the Jays will scrimmage Tulsa Kelley, Douglass and Woodward on August 19th inside Jelsma Stadium and a final warm-up at Piedmont on August 25th.

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