FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The high school football season officially kicked off early Monday morning, while many North Texans were sleeping. Some teams across the DFW area hit the field for practice at midnight. Several other school districts will kick off before sunrise on Monday morning. The dark practices are a defensive play, to protect students from the triple-digit heat expected throughout this week.

All around North Texas, high school players and band members are getting ready for hot weather. Athletes at Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth start football practice just after 7:00 a.m. Monday morning. But at Krum High School, it was ‘midnight madness‘ — a traditional event of holding the first practice just as Monday begins.

Monday is the first day that conditioning can legally begin. The practices are in preparation for Friday night lights — games begin at the end of the week.

While the five-year tradition in Krum is getting everyone excited for the new season, it is also a way to get players out of the heat. “It’s pretty nice tonight,” said Krum High School football coach Gary Robinson. “It’s probably about 90 degrees and it’s a lot better than the sun beating down on us. And I think it helps the kids work hard, especially at the beginning of practice, at the beginning of the season, just to kind of slowly acclimate them to the weather in Texas.”

The high temperature on Monday is expected to be about 103 degrees.

“We get a good two-hour practice in,” continued Robinson, “and then we come back in the morning — really in a couple of hours — and do it again for a couple of hours. And then beat the heat on the first day.”

But even in the dark, cooler hours, students, staff members and supportive parents and fans will need to stay well hydrated for this big day.

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