Zephyrhills head football coach Nick Carroll will flip the switch and turn on the Bulldogs’ Saturday Night Lights tradition this Saturday.
The annual event is an open to the public practice at Bulldog Stadium where the community gets its first look at the 2023 squad as it prepares for the August 18 Preseason Classic against East Lake and the August 25 season opener against Lake Wales.
Saturday Night Lights is a tradition inspired by the Green Bay Packers’ bicycle ride to practice during the opening of training camp. Carroll wanted an annual event to truly kickoff camp and he wanted to bring the community along for the ride.
“I always thought it was a cool idea because everybody is hungry for football,” Carroll said of the tradition. “I wanted to make a unique experience when I came to Zephyrhills High School. I wanted something that was going to be an annual thing.”
The Saturday Night Lights event is the first practice of the season where players will be in full pads and ready to hit since practice officially started Monday.
“I think it’s something special,” Carroll said. “For the kids, everybody wants to see who the hammer and nails are going to be. We will be doing drills and live action for that first physical day.”
Carroll and his staff film that first practice and go over the tape Monday to see where the strengths and weaknesses are.
“There’s nothing like practices and getting ready for that first game of the season,” Carroll said. “It should be exciting.”