Thanksgiving morning practice is a special moment

From Alumni reunions to ugly Christmas sweaters, you see it all on this day
Ugly Christmas Sweater Practice
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 11:22 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - There is a special feeling on Thanksgiving for a thousand reasons but, if you are a high school football player, a coach, a parent, or a community, it’s a sacred time to practice.

Thursday morning, 24 teams around the Commonwealth gathered with their football families, both past and present, and savored the opportunity to still be on the field at this time of the year. One win from a chance at a title and the moment is not taken lightly.

“It feels pretty good. I’d like to do it every year if I could,” said Bryan Station football coach Phillip Hawkins. “It’s been a great morning and it’s beautiful out here. We got a lot of alumni that showed up and it makes you thankful for a lot of things when you see the support this program has.”

Down the road at Douglass, who is in the state semifinals for a fourth straight year, the situation is not overlooked. “I don’t take it for granted you know, it’s a blessing to be able to practice on Thanksgiving,” said Nate McPeek. “There’s a lot of great coaches and great players that don’t get to do this on Thanksgiving. It’s a blessing to be able to be out here and be with her on the football family.”

The Franklin County Flyers also had a Thanksgiving morning practice, and the Flyers did it in style with an ugly Christmas sweater theme. Some highly fashionable attire for a team almost no one picked to practice on this holiday. The Flyers are loose and having fun and feeling no pressure.

“It keeps the spirit up,” said Franklin County linebacker Peyton Ledford. “We do a different spirit each week. One week was pajamas, one week it was swim trunks. We’re just trying to enjoy our walk-through.”

The architect of the themed practice, head coach Eddie James, gets a kick out of it as well.

“We had several laughs this morning,” said a grinning James. “They’re loose though. They want to go play this football game. We’re playing with house money. We don’t wanna be too serious and there’s a lot of funny costumes this morning.”