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'Midnight Growl' brings athletes out Jonathan Copsey. (click for larger version)
August 04, 2014
MILTON, Ga. – For the second year in a row, the Cambridge High School football and cheerleading teams turned out at midnight July 31 for their "Midnight Growl" only to find a soggy field and pouring rain.

Cambridge head football coach Craig Bennett said it didn't bother him in the least.

"Practice went well and we were able to play in the rain," he said. "They came out with a lot of energy."

He was pleased with the performance of his team.

"We had a solid practice for the first day," he said. "You try to keep things in perspective. You see the kids start getting tired and then you look down at your watch and see it is 2 o'clock in the morning."

After a summer-full of practice, Bennett said he had high hopes for the year. But the first game of the season is Aug. 22, a week earlier than usual.

"We play in 21 days," he said. "We're not scared of being behind but the calendar itself gets us on the field a week earlier than we are used to."

The midnight growl began three years ago, when the high school was still being built. The team was not allowed in their facilities until Aug. 1, so they took the liberty of taking that rule at face value – they showed up at 12:01 a.m. to start practicing.

Now Bennett said the kids have taken it to heart.

"Now, our kids want to do it," he said. "It's become a tradition."

MH-8-6

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