The St. Thomas Aquinas football team is used to having plenty of Gatorade at their practices.
On Monday, vats of turbo-charged coffee may have been a better choice.
Because of safety concerns with Monday’s partial eclipse, the Archdiocese of Miami ordered schools closed Monday morning at 11:30 and canceled all outdoor activities.
With a huge opening week game against California powerhouse St. John Bosco looming on Friday night — a game which will be broadcast nationally from Brian Piccolo Stadium on ESPNU — the Raiders couldn’t afford to miss a day of practice.
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An afternoon off meant an early morning on.
“It was absolute football utopia,” coach Roger Harriott said.
Around 6 a.m., players were trudging onto campus and were working out on their well-lit football field by 6:30.
Harriott said he and his players had a ball with the early morning workout — and they avoided any afternoon thundershowers.
“The weather was perfect,” Harriott said. “So, getting up early actually worked to our advantage. It was a nice change of pace for our players. They embraced the early morning practice under the lights.
“The atmosphere was full of fresh energy and enthusiasm.”
The Raiders, who won their third consecutive state championship last season, will be back on the field on Tuesday afternoon barring any serious weather concerns.
As for St. John Bosco, the Braves are expected to be in South Florida on Monday and will be practicing in Davie throughout the week in preparation for their game with the Raiders.
St. John Bosco won a California state championship last year as well as a national championship in 2013.