Diboll football

Diboll football players go through a drill during “Midnight Madness” practice on Friday morning at Lumberjack Stadium.

DIBOLL — If you were driving by Diboll High School in the middle of the night late Thursday/early Friday and saw the lights on at Lumberjack Stadium, your eyes didn’t deceive you.

That’s because the Diboll Lumberjacks hit the field at 12:01 a.m. Friday for their first football practice with pads of the 2017 season for their “Midnight Madness” event.

Before practice started, there was a parade, followed by tailgating and a showing of “Remember the Titans.”

“We want to get a good practice in. That’s the main objective, but also at the same time, we were able to raise a little money,” Diboll head football coach Blake Morrison said. “We want to make this a little bit of a tradition here. Next year, we want to try to make it even bigger.”

According to UIL rules, Friday was the first day schools that began practice on Monday could practice in pads. Diboll decided to get a jump on the action.

“Coach said today was going to be the first day of pads, and I just couldn’t wait,” Diboll senior linebacker Lucio Monroy said. “I was ready. I was so pumped up about it.”

The event wrapped up the opening week of practice for the Lumberjacks, who finished 2-9 last season.

“The first week has been real good,” Diboll quarterback Nathan Garcia said. “It’s a whole lot better than last year. We’ve picked up the tempo a lot. We’re looking sharper at what we do.”

“We are going to see if all of the teaching we have done the last four days and all of the conditioning has been retained,” Morrison said. “We put them through the grind the last four days and then all of the teaching. And then when you’ve got somebody to hit, are you doing what you’re supposed to be doing?”

Diboll will host Splendora in a scrimmage on Aug. 18. The Lumberjacks’ first game is Sept. 1 at Madisonville.

Brandon Ogden’s email address is bogden@lufkindailynews.com.