Dave Corey summed up the goals in one word – “playoffs.”
Before the start of Pioneer’s midnight practice to kick off the season on Monday morning, the senior and his teammates were anxious to get to work on that very big goal and get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
“It’s always great to be playing football,” Corey said. “Tonight is our first opportunity to get back out here and we want to take advantage of that. So here we are the first minute of the first day.”
Corey, who admitted he took a long nap in the afternoon, is eager to get rolling. The offensive tackle was already sweating before the team even took the field and looked quite comfortable on the warm turf.
“We hope to set a good tone for the season,” he said. “You practice how you play and practice how you practice. This is the first chance we can get started and we are here to take advantage of that.”
Head Coach Bill Bellers said the midnight practice was a chance to get a head start, get players fired up and set the tone for the whole season. But while it was late, it was time to get to work.
READ MORE ABOUT MONDAY’S EARLY WORKOUT: https://weloveannarbor.com/2018/08/06/jacoby-kicking-off-the-season-in-the-middle-of-the-night-was-no-gimmick/
“This is a practice and there are things we want to accomplish,” he said. “Every time they step on the field is an opportunity and that opportunity starts right now. The minute we can get going was the time to get going.”
The Pioneers went a respectable 4-5 last year in Beller’s first season as head coach. And even more respectable when you consider the first two opponents were against Muskegon and Detroit Jesuit – two non-league games against quality programs.
This year, Pioneer opens at home on Aug. 24 vs. Anchor Bay. They then hit the road for a game Aug. 30 at St. Johns before returning home to play Tecumseh on Sept. 7. City rivalry games are Sept. 14 at home against Huron and on the road Oct. 12 at Skyline.
The bell tolled midnight to ring in the start of the football season. And the Pioneers were there to take that first step – under the lights with the playoffs hopefully waiting when the sun rises after the team’s final game on Oct. 19 against Ypsilanti.