Taking care of unfinished business


By Mike Carter - Sports Writer



Clinton’s Ryheem Skinner speeds down the sideline on a touchdown run in the state championship game last December. Skinner and his teammates will open practice for the 2015 campaign at midnight on Aug. 1 at Dark Horse Stadium.


By Mike Carter

Sports Writer

Clinton’s Ryheem Skinner speeds down the sideline on a touchdown run in the state championship game last December. Skinner and his teammates will open practice for the 2015 campaign at midnight on Aug. 1 at Dark Horse Stadium.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_62151.jpgClinton’s Ryheem Skinner speeds down the sideline on a touchdown run in the state championship game last December. Skinner and his teammates will open practice for the 2015 campaign at midnight on Aug. 1 at Dark Horse Stadium.

The Clinton Dark Horse football team will open practice for the 2015 season at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 1, 2015. That’s right, at one minute past midnight on next Saturday morning the defending Eastern 2-A Champs will take to the field for the first practice of the 2015 campaign. The Horses hope to build on last year’s success with the goal of adding another state championship banner to the Dark Horse Stadium press box.

The NCHSAA mandates that the first day of fall practice for 2015 be no earlier than Aug. 1.

“We decided to take advantage of every minute and hold our first practice at midnight on Saturday morning,” Clinton head coach Bob Lewis said. “We will have a light meal for the players at 11 p.m. and then head out to the field for our first practice at midnight.”

After an exciting run through the 2-A state playoffs last season the returning Dark Horses are geared up and raring to get the season started.

“In 1995 after we lost in the state championship game to Thomasville, the players talked a lot about unfinished business during the off-season and it sort of became their motto for 1996 when we won the state title. We haven’t picked a motto for this year yet, but that is certainly a possibility,” Lewis continued.

Clinton joins other region teams holding midnight madness practices. Lee Senior, Southern Lee and Green Hope are also holding midnight madness events. Lewis encourages all potential players to come out on Friday night.

“We hope to have a big turnout, the kids should come in T-shirts, shorts and football shoes and be ready to get started,” the coach remarked. “We will do some 7-on-7 drills on the field and some conditioning work to get things kicked off.”

While there is nothing special planned for fans at this event, Lewis added, “We would be glad to have fans come out and observe the practice and support the team on Saturday. The community was so supportive of our team all last year and especially traveling all over the eastern half of the state to cheer us on during the playoffs that we would love to have as many folks come out and watch as would like.”

NCPreps.com’s preseason Baker’s Dozen high school football polls have the Dark Horses at No. 3 in the 2-A poll, East Lincoln and defending 2-A champion Shelby are 1 and 2 respectively. Two other area teams cracked the 1-A poll with Lakewood coming in at No. 12 with Wallace-Rose Hill, the defending 1-A champion holding the No. 1 spot. Obviously, the expectations for the Dark Horses and the other area teams are high and with anticipation of kicking off a new season building, answering the age old question of, “Are you ready for some football?” is an easy proposition.

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