LAKE ISABELLA — When the clock strikes 12, the pads come on for the Kern Valley Broncs during their midnight practice. The tradition started a few years back and the players try to keep it alive.
“The high school [students] like to do it just because it’s something to do,” said Ken Porter, a senior on the team. “There’s not much to do around here.”
After taking a year off from the midnight practice in 2018, fans are happy to be back in the stands.
“There’s not much else to do, everything else closes at 10,” said Anthony Barton, a Lake Isabella resident. “It’s really cool to see how they’ll come support at midnight when most games start at 7.”
It’s one practice that happens once a year and yields an entire day of excitement.
“You get hyped up the whole day, you practice early in the day and everyone is talking about it the whole day,” said Porter. “You hear all your friends talking about it. If you’re working, you hear people talking about it. ‘Hey midnight practice is tonight.’”
Brett Grimsby, a KVHS senior, has always enjoyed the practice. This year was a bit tougher on him. Grimsby worked a shift at the marina before hitting the football field.
“It was really hot,” he said. “I was getting sun beat, and I thought about it and I forgot and was like ‘this is gonna suck.’”
It is a night that most look forward to before the real lights come on.
“Football does matter here,” said Ben Gaffinet, KVHS head coach. “So it’s an important thing and they’re excited to get something going here. A lot of these kids just love Friday night, they really do.”