A rite of passage – a bonding experience – a way to know that football season is just around the corner.
Players from all levels of the Escalon Cougars football program made their way to the high school campus for Friday night’s finale of the summer workout sessions, aptly titled “Midnight Misery.”
This was the traditional end-of-the-summer gathering, said JV football head coach Andrew Beam.
“We had 59 guys show up from all levels of the program,” Beam said. “The kids talk all summer about the lift and as miserable as it is, the kids love it.”
With the lift running from 10 p.m. Friday to roughly 12:30 a.m. Saturday, there was plenty of time for this year’s Cougars to get in some final work in the weight room. They also got a little education along the way about what it means to put on the purple and gold.
“We start the night with a 10-minute highlight video of the history of Escalon football, the wins, the championships, state titles,” noted Beam. “Just to really set the tone for the night and give them an appreciation for our school’s tradition.”
Former players are invited back, Beam added, and run all the stations for the kids during the lift.
“It’s two rounds, eight stations per round, six minutes a station,” Beam said of the gut-wrenching, sweat-producing, muscle-straining workout.
“You can really just see the kids bond together and forge the trust and love for one another that is necessary for a successful season,” explained Beam. “It’s a special night with a great turnout and we also want to thank the Sports Boosters for their big donation of new lifting equipment and exercise machines.”
In addition to former players returning to help run the stations, Beam was joined by varsity head football coach Mark Loureiro, varsity assistant Matt Loretelli and JV assistant coach Joe Cowan in putting on this year’s Midnight Misery event.