08/01/05 — Waiting 'til the midnight hour -- Goldsboro, Southern Wayne kick off 2005 season

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Waiting 'til the midnight hour -- Goldsboro, Southern Wayne kick off 2005 season

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 1, 2005 1:56 PM

It's here!

Goldsboro High and Southern Wayne officially kicked off the 2005 prep football season with respective midnight madness practices at 12:01 this morning.

Players armed with pillows, blankets and PS2s filed into the Cougars' locker room nearly two hours before practice. Third-year coach Maurice Jackson expected 50 varsity and junior varsity players combined, and spent nearly an hour out-fitting those who didn't have uniforms.

Jackson said that when Goldsboro finished its first practice, the players would head back to the fieldhouse for a lock-in.

"I want to promote some team unity," said Jackson, whose team finished 1-10 a year ago. "We've been working all summer to bust up that 'I' mentality."

Goldsboro returned to the field for an 8 a.m. practice today.

Jackson didn't foresee weather posing a problem this week and has scheduled a few two-a-day practices.

However, if the intense heat and humidity that plagued the eastern seaboard last week returns, he said he will adjust his plans.

The Cougars open their season Aug. 19 at Rocky Mount Senior High. The series is tied 17-17-1 with the last meeting occurring in the mid-1980s when both teams played on the Class 4-A level.

While the Saints worked out in muddy conditions left from Sunday's late-evening rainstorm, the aroma of eggs and bacon filled the air. A few people cooked breakfast for the team, which had more than 30 players dressed on varsity and JV.

"It went real well," said ninth-year coach Bob Warren. "We've got a lot of youth and approximately 12 returning seniors. We had a good practice ... sort of scripted to go smooth. We started putting in our offense.

"The kids' attitude was really great ... upbeat. We've got a lot of work to do, but we know we that. We're ready to get it done."

Southern Wayne fashioned a 7-5 record last season and lost to Nash Central in the opening round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A (small-school) playoffs. The Saints begin their 2005 campaign at home Aug. 19 against former Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference foe West Craven.

The remaining county and area schools begin practice today.

The first six days, according to NCHSAA guidelines, are required to be used for physical conditioning. Players are allowed to wear headgear, shoulder pads, shorts and football shoes the first three days. The next three days, players may wear complete uniforms, but body-to-body contact is not permitted.

Teams may practice for two hours during the six-day period, excluding stretching and water breaks.

Contact drills can begin the seventh day and only one-a-day practices are permitted. If a team holds a second workout, players can work out in shoulder pads, headgear, shorts and use. Body-to-body contact is not allowed.

Rosewood plays host to a three-team scrimmage Aug. 11 against Richlands and former Carolina 1-A Conference foe Farmville Central. Farmville has been realigned into Eastern Plains 2-A Conference beginning this season.

North Lenoir entertains Wilson Fike the same evening.

Goldsboro High, Spring Creek, Charles B. Aycock, Southern Wayne and Greene Central will participate in scrimmages on Aug. 12.