Credit Frederick High football coach Thad Lear for utilizing any way he can to ride the wave of enthusiasm that has been generated by the school's new building opening its doors this fall a few blocks west of where the old building stands.

While most football teams across the state waited for their alarm clocks to go off to usher in the first official day of fall practice on Monday, the Warriors stayed up and kicked off the new season with a 12:01 a.m. practice under the lights on the new FHS field.

"We just got out there and got after it and had a lot of fun," said Lear, whose squad reached the Class 3A state semifinals last fall. "We just kind of wanted to take advantage of the perfect storm (of the new building opening)."

The team hosted an optional barbecue on the practice fields on Sunday night and didn't make the 90-minute midnight workout mandatory. But 72 players showed up, with many camping on the practice field and then getting up for the team's 9 a.m. practice before calling it a day and resting up. Their next practice wasn't scheduled until Tuesday afternoon.

Lear said the coaching staff made sure the city and surrounding neighbors knew the Warriors would be working out in the middle of the night. And some parents and members of the student section even came and watched.

"The kids loved it. So far everything's been positive," Lear said. "Overall it was very well received."

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