Players hit the field early for ‘Wednesday morning lights’

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WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Most football fans know all about Friday night lights, but one local program is turning the lights on much earlier.

“I don’t wake up with an alarm clock, right. Cause I am bad at it. So, my roommate, Gabe Boccella, he wakes me up every morning. Bangs on my door. I get up, and we’re out of here. Then I’m yelling and screaming,” said King’s Monarch middle linebacker and senior Brendan Mozeleski.

This unusual sight on a weekday morning started during the pandemic after scheduling conflicts left many teams hitting the fields at similar times.

So the football team started workouts at 6:30 in the morning and it stuck.

“So to get everybody on the field at a time we started going to the morning, and with different groups, and our kids sort of responded well to it. Because you kind of got, football part of the day, and the rest of the day on academics and lifting,” said Jeff Knarr, who is the Monarchs’ head coach.

“Ah, I was thinking what am I getting myself into, you know. I wasn’t use to getting up that early playing football. But when I played in Old Forge it was always after school,” said freshman wide receiver Mike Digregorio.

The change in schedule seems to come with some benefits.

“The pros, we’re done at 8:30 am, so we have time to get our school work done. We have all day to replenish our bodies,” said Mozeleski.

“Really in the morning like yesterday, it was probably the best part of the day. It really didn’t rain during that time, and then it rained throughout the afternoon. We were able to avoid some of the bad weather obviously. And in this fall, the temperature has been phenomenal,” said Knarr.

“You’re happy that you did it, it gets you right for school. Like you’re not going to be falling asleep in class, you’re awake. And once you get in that rhythm, you’re just ready to go every day,” said Digregorio.

Coach Knarr tells Eyewitness News the goal of playing college sports is simple.

“You want to see kids have success on the field and off the field, and in life. And football does a lot of things that make that happen,” said Knarr.

The Monarchs, who have a 4 and 3 record in ‘The MAC Conference’, practice every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 6:30 am. Their next game will be at Misericordia on Saturday at 1:00 pm.

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