Aug. 11 can’t get here fast enough; Talihina to have ‘Midnight Madness’ practice

For those who do their parts on Friday Night Lights in LeFlore County, Aug. 11 cannot get here quick enough.Monday is when high school football players will begin practice for the upcoming season, which will begin next month.“It’s that time of year,” said Poteau coach Greg Werner, whose team was Class 4A state runner-up last season. “Everybody is undefeated and excited about football. We certainly are. We have a great group of kids coming back. Of course, we have a group of kids who want to form their own identity and own team. They don’t want to be compared to last year’s team. It’s a fun time of the year. You’re ready to see who’s done what to get ready [for the season]. There will always be some big surprises. You’ll see kids come through and perform well who you don’t expect to, but that’s the fun of football. We had a lot of kids come through who performed well that we didn’t expect to last year, and we’ve got to expect the same this year.”The Talihina Golden Tigers made it to the Class A state semifinals before losing to Ringling at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Paul Laird Field.“We feel real good that we’re returning eight starters on offense and nine on defense,” said Talihina coach Kelly Gravitt said, whose team will begin practice with its traditional “Midnight Madness” practice at 12:01 a.m. Monday at Doc Robinson Stadium. “We have the nucleus of our team back from last year."