ClarkCountyToday.com sports reporter Paul Valencia was live on Facebook for Ridgefield Spudder’s first practice.
First practice comes at 12:01 a.m. to launch a new era for the Spudders
RIDGEFIELD — They came from out of the shadows, the darkness.
They heard the music, and they followed the lights.
At 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, the Ridgefield Spudders rushed the stadium field. Within seconds, footballs were in the air for the skill position players while linemen started perfecting their craft.
Today, after all, is a holiday of sorts for the Washington sports world. Today is the first official day of high school football practice for the 2018 season.
The Spudders did not want to waste a minute, ushering in the new year with a Midnight Madness practice.
“Fresh positivity,” Ridgefield lineman Kalvin Staker said. “I think it brings a lot of new energy.”
“We’ve never done this before,” added lineman Cole Anderson. “I think it’s a good start to the season.”
The Spudders are particularly thrilled with turning the page, looking forward to a new beginning. Last season did not go as they had planned with a 1-8 record. And then there was a coaching change less than two weeks ago. Chris Abrams has been named the interim coach. He wanted to make sure the start of this campaign was memorable
Brynan Shipley, the school’s new athletic director, gave the OK for the special practice time.
“Taking this program in a new direction and having new leadership is just creating excitement for the boys. Gets them excited and kind of pumped up and sets the tone for what we want this season to really look like: exciting and a lot of energy,” Shipley said.
“They’re just celebrating the start of something great.”
The plan is for all teams to be starting something Wednesday, but in more traditional hours. All teams in Clark County have scheduled practices.
Interestingly, many schools, including those in the Evergreen School District, were forced to practice indoors Wednesday due to air quality issues. School officials said they would continue to monitor the air quality and make the appropriate decisions in the coming days.
As far as us at ClarkCountyToday.com, we will be making the rounds, taking pictures and videos, and trying to attend all 18 football programs over the next couple weeks. Look for our season preview stories to begin next week.
Ridgefield got the jump on everyone else, heading out at midnight to make their presence known.
Happy New Year everyone. It’s football season.