Midnight practice tradition continues

Glenn Parrish
gparrish@boonevilledemocrat.com
Had he needed it, Casey Mattson had plent of help on the way on this tackle of Cody Elliott during the first full contact practice shortly after midnight Saturday.

For a couple hours Friday night into the morning hours of Saturday everything was almost normal.

There were Booneville football players, first in shorts and shoulder pads, and, after midnight, in full gear.

There were also reminders of the pandemic, starting with securing permission to continue the midnight full contact tradition.

There were groupings of parents in lawn chairs separated appropriately. There were also masks. Nobody was allowed in the fieldhouse other than team personnel.

The 12:01 practice, the sixth of fall camp, was the first permissible for full gear and one Booneville has now had at midnight for the four years, but first with Doc Crowley has the head coach.

The practice began with a little blood alley with backs, receivers, and linemen against each other, capped by a best of three between juniors Casey Mattson and Mason Goers.

The offensive portion of the full gear practice, which lasted about an hour, saw the debut of an offense Crowley and his staff have been tweaking since January.

As usual, there were some new faces in the backfield and up front.

Junior Randon Ray was under center, which isn’t exactly new as he did start the first game of the 2019 season.

Senior Ethan Wooldridge worked at fullback and, moving from receiver, Ty Goff, another senior, was one of several who saw action at the halfback spots as coaches rotated in multiple players.

Ray’s primary targets included seniors Chance Broussard and Jacob Herrera.

Up front seniors Jarrett Mitchell and Cole Boersma went both ways and Caden Shelton handeled almost all of the center duties for both the first and second teams against defensive starters. Landon Shackleford also held down a defensive line spot.

The leading tackler a year ago, Wooldridge led the linebacking corps and the defensive backfield included Herrera, Ray, and Goff.

The scrimmage also included extra point work with Gavin Kent, who has converted 107 attempts in his career, handling the kicking duties.

Sophomores taking part in their first mignight contact included Peyton Tatum, at quarterback with the second offense, and Cody Elliott at linebacker, as well as Brooks Herrera and Brendan Dove.

Randon Ray fights off a tackle attempt during the first full contact practice shortly after midnight Saturday.