McAlester coach Forrest Mazey called his players into the center of the football field Monday morning after nearly two hours of the annual midnight practice.

The first-year coach of the Buffaloes told his players he was pleased with their pace and tempo. Mazey said the Buffs looked better than they did during the spring due to the tempo and added that it was a good first practice.

"It was right on par with what I expect," Mazey said. 

McAlester senior Chris Hilton said his final midnight practice with the Buffaloes went well.

"I feel really good," Chris Hilton said. "The team played really good today and had really good tempo." 

Hilton said the intensity that Mazey brought helped the team along the way. The quarterback said everybody has a will to get better and do things right. 

He added he plans to sustain these practice performances by encouraging his teammates and making sure they maintain their tempo. 

Parker Singleton remembered being tired after his first midnight practice in 2016, but said in the McAlester locker room Monday morning that he doesn't get tired. Singleton said it was "hard to think about" that his final first practice was in the books.

The defensive end wanted to better himself, but made it his goal to help others in practice. He aimed to encourage his teammates and how to fix things if something went wrong.

Singleton said McAlester must keep it up until it starts practicing with pads.

"That's a whole different ballgame from there," he said.

Mazey said the first practice would have mistakes and that the players need to work on staying focused with details when they get tired. He said the team will be better off once the coaches make things in practice more chaotic. 

He said the coaches would have to watch film in order to know what McAlester would have to revisit in practice, and what it would could move forward with.

The Buffs focused on different drills for their respective positions. They had passing, receiving, rushing and tackling drills. McAlester later implemented turnover drills and some scrimmages. There was also kicking work by the goalposts. 

Practice ended approximately one hour and 50 minutes later after McAlester worked on conditioning in running from sideline to sideline, making sure to touch the white line before hustling back. 

Mazey himself joined in, hustling in multiple sprints with his players.

"I need to get in shape and what better way to do it than with the kids out there working hard for you?" Mazey said.

Contact Corey Stolzenbach at cstolzenbach@mcalesternews.com 

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