Packers kick off Midnight Madness

Published 2:09 am Monday, August 16, 2010

Quinn Yocom runs through drills during Midnight Madness football practice at Art Hass Stadium early Monday morning. Teams could officially start organized practice starting at midnight Monday. -- Eric Johnson/

The Packer football season officially started with its Midnight Madness session at Art Hass early Monday morning and it was basically the start of an open tryout.

Austin returns just four starters, so there a lot of positions up for grabs.

“Everything is open and we have a lot of sophomores that’ll be competing for those spots,” Austin head football coach Matt Schmit said.

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The players are quite aware of the competition as senior Josh Hart said the annual event was as competitive as its ever been.

“With everything open, it’s really intense and everyone’s looking to get that starting spot,” he said. “It helps us get into the mode for football.”

Marcus Stoulil runs back an interception during a seven-on-seven drills during Midnight Madness practice early Monday morning at Art Hass Stadium. -- Eric Johnson/

The practice was set up much like last year’s Madness, with four different stations for players to rotate back and forth to. There was a seven-on-seven drill, an agility drill and a tire tossing drill.

But the most effective drill may have been the punting and kicking tryouts, where each player on the team got a stab at kicking duties.

“We’re looking for a kicker, and here Quinn Yocom comes along and starts kicking forty-yard field goals,” Schmit said. “There’s a point for everything we did tonight and it’s all football related.”

While there was a lot of running for the Packers in the middle of the night, Hart said he’s glad that Midnight Madness is still an Austin tradition.

“A lot of other area schools don’t do this. It’s pretty special and it shows how in love we are with the sport we are,” he said.

Austin opens its football season at Red Wing Sept. 3.