Ayden-Grifton holds first late-night practice Friday night

Ayden-Grifton holds first late-night practice Friday night

Ayden-Grifton wrapped up Friday night’s practice shortly after 12:03 a.m. on Saturday, the first time the Chargers held one so late. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News

AYDEN — Making the postseason has been standard for Ayden-Grifton, but practicing as the day changed hasn’t.

There was a change Friday night, as the Chargers started its practice around 10:30 p.m. and wrapped it up shortly after the clock struck midnight. Ayden-Grifton coach Paul Cornwell said the late practice was helpful in both providing additional energy among the players and giving them a day off.

“We decided to do something different this time around to add some excitement,” Cornwell said. “We had a great night tonight — we had an early practice, ate, hung out as a team and then started up this late practice. The guys have continued to get at it and we’re getting better each day. There’s been a lot of great effort throughout and we’re looking to pick up a few more younger players before the season.”

Ayden-Grifton has reached the playoffs 18 consecutive years — the longest streak in the Eastern Carolina 2A — and senior Michael Webb said there’s potential to not only extend the run, but go far in the postseason.

“Hopefully, we can keep this tempo going,” Webb said. “We’re trying to get better every day, and this really hyped everyone up, especially the younger guys. We just need to keep this same energy when the season starts.”

As the team enjoyed its first late-night practice, another senior — J.C. Darden — said he hopes the trend continues for the younger players.

“It was a pretty fast practice,” Darden said. “Everyone was energized tonight and it felt good to have this Midnight Madness. Hopefully, the coaches will allow this to continue in the future.”

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