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Football practice builds anticipation

Recent headlines may have included news of a heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service, but those of us dreaming of cooler fall days and nights can take heart — summer officially ended for football teams across the state this week.

Monday marked the first day of practice for teams that did not participate in spring football practice to begin conditioning and skills exercises. The first day contact was allowed on Friday.

If you are not a Texas native or have not been here long enough to become acclimated, you may not understand the significance of these events. But if you are a high school football fan — and in Texas that includes almost everyone — you know what we’re talking about.

You know why the lights at some area athletic fields, including Krum’s Bobcat Stadium, were ablaze at the stroke of midnight Sunday. Krum kicked off its first practice of the season Monday morning just past midnight for the fifth straight year.

Several other North Texas programs, including Sanger, celebrated with Midnight Madness by beginning practice at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

If you were among the faithful who went out to support your local team at early practices, you probably had plenty of company.

In its first Midnight Madness practice, Sanger had several hundred parents and students in the stands and music blared over the stadium loudspeaker while the players went through their pregame inflatable tunnel.

The Krum practice also drew fans, and in spite of the early hour — or maybe because of it — the gesture was appreciated. As Krum head coach Gary Robinson told us, those who came out to the midnight practice showed the team how much community support it has.

And high school football isn’t the only game in town. The University of North Texas is also preparing for its Aug. 31 season opener against Idaho. That means that it will soon be time to head out to the stadium and support the Mean Green.

In fact, all local teams need fan support, and we encourage readers to get their tickets lined up for this season’s games to support the team or teams of their choice.

Many residents — especially longtime Texans — are probably way ahead of us and are planning on being in their regular seats for the opening kickoff of the new season. But if you’re one of those recent arrivals we mentioned, why not make plans to join them?

We believe you’ll enjoy the experience. There’s really nothing quite like a fall football game — high school or college — for great entertainment and family fun.

And it’s not all about just football — a lot of other young people are involved in these activities, as well. Area bands, drill teams, cheer units and other key parts of high school programs have all been hard at work practicing, and they deserve your support, too.

Some teams won’t begin practice until Monday, but once they’ve hit the field, it’s downhill to the start of the season. You’ll be able to scope out all the details about top area teams in our annual guide to area football in the Aug. 29 edition.

We can’t wait for kickoff. It’s going to be a great season.