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Midnight marks first practice at Herriman

Aug 30, 2017 03:38PM ● Published by Jana Klopsch

As part of the midnight madness party, Great Clips colored students’ hair and gave away free haircuts. (Greg James/City Journals)

Gallery: Football Practice [2 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Greg James |  gregj@mycityjournals.com

Midnight could not come soon enough for the Herriman High School football team. Friday night, Aug. 4, in the wee hours of the morning and past most of the players’ bedtime, they strapped on the shoulder pads and laced up their cleats in the first full pad practice of the 2017 season.

“I created this to get the community involved,” Mustang head coach Dustin Pearce said. “It makes excitement and creates an opportunity for the students to come out.” 

The Herriman football booster club hosted its fourth annual midnight madness. It started as a signal for the team of its first full pad practice. It is now a party with a snack bar, dance company, cheerleaders and scrimmages of the youth little league football teams.

Utah High School football players are not allowed to practice in full pads until after Aug. 4. Pearce thought that a kick-off party was a good idea for his players.

“We are a new school, and are trying to start out new traditions for our kids,” Pearce said.

The evening started with Herriman Ute Conference mighty mite teams scrimmaging on the high school field. Parents and fans watched as the two teams moved the ball back and forth down the field.

The snack bar sold treats, and Great Clips colored students’ hair in the school’s Cardinal red in support of the team. There was also Mustang hats, shirts and memorabilia available.

“The first year it was just the team; now the SBOs are out here and we got all of these kids,” Pearce said. “The little league kids are having fun on the big field. Now we start getting ready for the season.” 

The UHSAA realigned its regions for this fall. The Mustangs have been placed in Region 3 with Copper Hills, East (football only), Riverton, Taylorsville and West Jordan. Pearce said he knows the new competition well. 

“We should be a contender,” he said. “The teams we are playing against are very good. Just like in years past. It will be an adjustment not playing in Utah county.”

Junior Blake Freeland garnered attention earlier this year by gaining a scholarship offer for BYU. 

“I am excited to see Blake play,” Pearce said. “We have what I think is the best wide receiving core we have ever had at the school.”

Freeland had 29 completions last season for 350 yards and one touchdown. 

The Mustang offensive and defensive line will be anchored by 6-foot-6 266 lb senior Jaren Kump. Pearce said he has offers from several PAC-12 schools. Center Braxton Pearce has received offers from Dixie State and is a three-year starter. 

“I feel like with 18 kids returning who played significant time last season, we are right where we want to be,” Pearce said. “This is a special group of kids. We have good underclassman. It feels good to be headed into the season.” 

Herriman is scheduled to start its season Aug. 18 at home against Lone Peak and then they will travel to Helix High School in La Mesa, California. Both games are after press deadline. 

The Mustangs will host Bingham Friday, Sept. 1.

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