KFHS enjoys a little ‘madness’
By Henry Luzzatto
Fans of the King’s Fork High School football team got a special midnight preview of the team on Friday.
The “Midnight Madness” event saw hundreds of people gather to watch the Bulldogs have their first real scrimmage in front of an audience.
“I think it was good to give the audience a glimpse of what we’re working on in a live setting,” said King’s Fork head coach Scottie Littles. “We wanted to see who can do what and get players to fight for starting spots.”
Though the event has taken place each of the past three years, Littles said the school decided to kick it up a notch in preparation for this season. King’s Fork activities director Randy Jessee said the event featured a DJ to interact with the crowd, concessions and a pre-game meal for the players to enjoy.
Jessee said this was the biggest midnight madness so far, with about 600 people in attendance.
“It’s a very positive atmosphere,” he said. “They get to see the kids and have the camaraderie with the families.”
The midnight practice had King’s Fork’s 110 football players divided into two teams, which played one another in a full scrimmage.
Jessee said the midnight madness game is the first time that players are allowed to fully tackle each other in practice. Under Virginia High School League rules, 12:01 a.m. on Saturday was the earliest the players were allowed to tackle one another to the ground, so the team took advantage and staged an event at that time.
Littles said the game offered an opportunity for the players to show their abilities as if they were in a real game.
“It’s good to see who can do what with fewer limits in place,” Littles said.
Even though the midnight scrimmage was serious preparation for the upcoming season, Littles said the event was a fun opportunity for the players.
“It was great,” he said. “The kids had a lot of fun.”
Littles said the team still has work to do before its first game against Smithfield High School on Aug. 26. While the King’s Fork team still has work to do before the season starts, it can take comfort in knowing that the community of friends, family and fans will be there for them.
“It’s all about getting the community out,” Littles said. “It allows our community to be part of something.”
Jessee said the event was like a midnight release of a movie, getting the players and fans hyped up for the upcoming season.
“There’s a lot of buzz around the community,” he said. “They’re excited to see the football project.”
After the game, the players got a chance to mingle with the people in attendance. After that time, the players had a lock-in in the King’s Fork gym, spending the night playing games and bonding with their teammates.
Littles said the experience is an important part of creating a culture of success for the school’s football program.
“It’s one of the most important things,” he said. Littles said creating a community among the team is another key to the success of top teams. “They’re so successful because they have a culture of success and brotherhood,” he said.
Though the players are the ones on the field, Littles said he wants to give credit to the fans and families for being the key support.
“We’re nothing without our fans,” he said.