It was at Grapecreek High School that coach Kyle Atwood began bringing his football teams for their first practice at midnight.

An idea taken from college basketball teams which have long taken the court at midnight on the first official day of practice. Some high school teams began doing the same thing, and it eventually got to Atwood.

Since beginning it at his first heading coaching job, Atwood had made a tradition of taking the field at midnight, and at Alice, it’s caught on. It continued at midnight Monday when the Alice varsity and junior varsity took the field just moments after 12 a.m. With police lights and sirens greeting the team at the gates and a human tunnel of family and fans, the Coyotes made their way on to the practice field.

With a DJ blasting music and a drone flying overhead, the practice fields were lined with lawn chairs and rows of onlookers. The Alice High School cheerleaders and a drill team also made their way around the fields.

“It’s something that I like to do because it just brings a lot of excitement to what we’re doing,” Atwood said. “Here it Alice, football is something that the entire community is behind, so it really adds a lot to our first practice. Plus, football is different in Alice, Texas. Taking the field for the first time with family, friends and the community watching adds to the experience.”

Most high school football teams began workouts a week ago, but Alice started a week later because the prorgam went through spring football in May.

The team looked crisp running offensive and defensive drills on the fields surrounded by floodlights powered by generators.

The Alice varsity and junior varsity program will move to a more traditional practice schedule Tuesday and Wednesday with 7 a.m. practices. The team will practice at 5 p.m. Thursday and again at 7 a.m. Friday. The program will play in an inter squad scrimmage at 6 p.m. Saturday. The annual Meet The Coyotes will follow in the stadium at 7 p.m.