Full contact practice started for many Texas teams on Saturday and the defending district champion Odem Owls wasted no time.
"Really excited about the start of this season," said Adam Huerta, Odem football head coach.
Fans filled Owl Stadium as Odem kicked off their annual "Midnight Madness" football practice during the early hours on Saturday.
"Getting ready for the season to start and hype up for the Odem Owls," said Gracie Obregon, mother of Joshua Obregon.
The defending UIL District 16 3A-Division II champions are excited to practice under the lights on a turf that debuted midway through last season.
"We didn't even get to do this last year on this field because it wasn't even done yet, so this is actually the first year we've ever done this," said Hunter Dawson, Odem senior quarterback, and four-year starter. "First experience. Hopefully we can make it a good one.
The best part about Midnight Madness is that it's the first day UIL allows full contact.
"Some kids want to be football players and some are," said Huerta. "We have about seven kids that can play linebacker and we only use four, but that's a good problem to have."
Odem returns four starters on both sides, including their 6-foot-3 varsity quarterback Hunter Dawson.
"I have great chemistry with my receivers," said Dawson. "I've had them since the eighth grade and I've had my running back since the eighth grade, too."
"It's special because we have a four-year quarterback and four seniors on the O-line and it's pretty good," said Matthew Acosta, Odem senior center.
The energy extends to their new logo and gear. The Owls have four home and away uniform combinations. Odem alum and head coach Adam Huerta shared his favorite design.
"I'd say the gold pants because we haven't worn gold pants since 1996," said Huerta. "We haven't had gold numbers in about four or five years, so we're really excited about that."
The Owls start their season on the road in Karnes City on Friday, Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Plus, tune in week three on Thursday for Game Night South Texas between Mathis and Odem. The game will air live on our sister station the CW.