MIAMI — There probably won’t be any “Carpool Karaoke,” but Miami High School’s first football practice of 2017 will be “The Late Late Show with Andrew Rice.”
Continuing a tradition from the past several years, the Wardogs will begin preparation for the 2017 football season at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Aug. 7, at Red Robertson Field.
The team actually will get together at 11 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6; hit the field around 11:30 to warm up without a ball.
Then at midnight, things will get serious for about a half hour.
Rice said he’s not feeling any butterflies as the time nears for the start of his first camp as a head coach.
“As a staff, we pretty much know what to expect,” he said. “We have prepared pretty well. I think it’s exciting than anything else. The kids have been busting their tails in the weight room, so it’s more excitement to see that pay off for them.”
Per Oklahoma Secondary School Activity Association regulations, teams must get in four practices without pads.
“Going by technicalities, with that midnight practice, that is one. Our Monday practice is two, our Tuesday is three and our Wednesday practice is number four,” Rice said. “With that Sunday practice we are kinda stealing one. It really depends on how things go in those four practices. We may just go one more in helmets or we may go ahead and strap on the pads.”
The Wardogs will practice from 6 to 8 p.m. at Red Robertson Field Monday through Friday then move to the high school for workouts on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16, also from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Dogs revert to their regular afternoon practice schedule with the first day of classes on Thursday, Aug. 17.
Like in the “old days,” Rice isn’t planning on having too much contact drills.
“We will let our scrimmages serve as that time,” he said. “We will do a little hitting in that second and third week, but in reality, the days of that are pretty much gone.
“We will hit when we need to, but it won’t be a grind like it used to be.”
The Dogs will continue to work hard in the weight room from 8:30 to 10 a.m. daily up to the start of school.
“That is pretty important to us and the kids are starting to love it,” Rice said. “You know how high school boys are: you put some muscles on them and they fall in love with it.
“We will still meet and lift every day.”
Miami’s two scrimmages will be at Locust Grove on Friday Aug. 18 and Stilwell on Thursday, Aug. 24.
The season opener is Friday, Sept. 1 at Hilldale
Rice was offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Bartlesville the previous two seasons.
After going 7-5 and reaching the Class 5A semifinals in 2008 in Chris Risenhoover’s last season, Miami has won just 20 games over the past eight seasons.
The 2008 campaign also was the Wardogs’ last playoff appearance.
Rice, 27, succeeds James Cheatham as the Wardogs’ coach.
The Wardogs were 1-9 a year ago, playing in the state’s toughest high school football district.
Jim Ellis is sports editor of the Miami News-Record. He can be reached by phone at 918-542-5508 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mnrsportsguy.