Clover held first football practice minutes into the 2018 season, at midnight
Zion Robbins’ first touchdown catch of the 2017 season was also his last.
The junior wide receiver broke his leg on a scoring play against Forestview (N.C.) in the season opener and didn’t play the rest of the year. But he was bouncing around like a rubber ball from the dentist’s office during Clover’s annual Midnight Madness football practice early -- very early -- Friday morning.
By the time most teams were holding their first practice of the 2018 season, Clover was on to its second. Robbins and the Blue Eagles opened practice minutes into the new season, at midnight on July 27, in front of a fairly sizable crowd.
“It gives us a head start because we’re the only ones out here practicing right now,” said senior receiver Heze Massey. “Last year was the first year with our new coach so we weren’t sure there would be many people, but there were a lot of people out there in the stands, like, all around the sidelines and stuff. It was almost like a game.”
Many of the onlookers were students taking advantage of their final moments of mid-week freedom before school commences.
Others, like Robbins, were just excited to get football going again, under a big glowing moon.
Robbins caught seven passes for over 100 yards and the TD against Forestview in Week Zero, his only action of the year. His injury was one of several to key contributors that hurt Brian Lane’s first team at Clover. The Blue Eagles won their first three contests, then dropped their next seven and missed the playoffs.
But Robbins is back, along with pass-catching partners Massey, Jaylin Lane and Blackmon Huckabee. The quartet will make life easier for whichever of the couple QBs competing for the starting job wins the position.
“As long as the quarterback can get it up to us, we’re gonna come down with it,” said Robbins.