Warrior Athletes Chase The Dawn With Early-Morning Practices

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Warrior Athletes Chase The Dawn With Early-Morning Practices

Early Bird Catches the Worm: Student Athletes wake up early for morning practice (Pictured: Armari Hodges, senior)

Early Bird Catches the Worm: Student Athletes wake up early for morning practice (Pictured: Armari Hodges, senior)

Early Bird Catches the Worm: Student Athletes wake up early for morning practice (Pictured: Armari Hodges, senior)

Early Bird Catches the Worm: Student Athletes wake up early for morning practice (Pictured: Armari Hodges, senior)

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It’s 6:15 in the morning. Many are about to officially start their work-day, while the vast majority of North Atlanta students are sound asleep. However, North Atlanta High School is bustling with hundreds of athletes, ranging from football players to volleyball players. Many sports teams at North Atlanta throughout the year practice after school every day, and the early-morning practices — though considered by many a sleep-depriving drag — are very much a part of the sporting scene at the school.

The football team takes the field at 6:15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That means a 5:30 wake up time for the senior safety, Jamie Hare. He said the early morning practices have always been hard for sleep-deprived students, however they are actually better than afternoon practices in some aspects. “A lot of us are really tired and feel like falling asleep when we get to practice, but I personally prefer practicing in the morning instead of having to stay late after school,” said Hare.
The cross country team arrives at the track every Thursday and Friday morning around 6:10. Team captains Ismail Massar and Foard Martin then lead their team in the one mile warmup at 6:15. Running, especially while leading an early morning practice takes a large amount of energy, however a vast quantity of Warriors have little to nothing to eat before their workouts. “I never eat anything before practice,” Massar said. “You never want to run on a full stomach.”   

One of the reasons sports teams at North Atlanta practice in the mornings on some days are to take a brief break from the excruciating heat in the afternoons. The unseasonal heat takes a toll on the Warriors in the afternoons, as this school year the temperature has yet to dip below 90 degrees in the afternoon. “The nice thing about getting up early is that it’s so much cooler and you get practice out of the way.” said Massar. 

Despite the fact that the sports themselves may be difficult, the most stressful time of the morning for North Atlanta athletes tends to be after practice: the locker room rush. At 7:45 in the morning, hundreds of athletes race to the gym for a good spot in the shower line. Due to the fact that there are only seven working showers in the mens room, competition among fellow Warriors is fierce. “It’s an all out sprint to the locker rooms every morning,” said senior runner Alden Sweatman. “If you don’t get there early, you’ll just be sitting there covered in sweat for 30 minutes.”  

While waking up early in the morning can be a drag for many students, putting in work before school often leads to the sweet reward of Chick-Fil-a. Additionally, it’s much more comfortable in comparison to running several miles and colliding pads in 100 degree heat. Ultimately, the morning practices are a staple of Warrior athletics.

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