AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Longtime Hart supporters, former players and their families always stop by in what has grown into a special reunion day. “This brings back a lot of good memories,” said Cameron Smyth, an All-Foothill League receiver at Hart in 1988 who’s now the mayor of Santa Clarita. “I’ve been coming here on and off every year or so.” Former lineman Dylan Poole, a freshman engineering student on break from Ohio State, was happy to make a visit. “One of Hart’s Thanksgiving traditions is for the young linemen to buy everyone doughnuts, and I can remember there were only four of us when I was a sophomore, so I bought four cases of doughnuts,” Poole said. “It definitely brings back a lot of memories when I first got here. I think by practicing every year at Thanksgiving, it becomes a pride factor.” After barely surviving a 32-27 first-round victory over Glendora that came down to the final minute last week, Herrington is counting his blessings more passionately than usual. NEWHALL – It was Thursday morning and Hart High’s football team was busy practicing – so it must be Thanksgiving. Football practice has been a part of turkey day every season since coach Mike Herrington arrived 17 years ago, and the tradition remains a respectable symbol of success because if a high school team is still around, that means it’s still alive in the playoffs. The Indians (9-2) play host to Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga (9-2) in the Southern Section Div. II quarterfinals tonight at 7:30 at College of the Canyons, and Thursday’s Thanksgiving workout was Hart’s final preparation. “It’s cool. This is a fun tradition,” lineman Joe Joo said. We’ve always had practice on Thanksgiving at Hart, so we’re not about to stop now.” “We’re just happy to still be here because it almost didn’t happen this year,” Herrington said. We like it, and the parents like coming. It’s a good group of parents.” League mates Valencia (8-3) and Canyon (10-1) are also alive in the playoffs. Valencia, which plays host to Chino Hills (11-0) tonight, practiced Thursday morning. Canyon, which plays at San Clemente (7-4) tonight, took the day off in favor of an early workout beginning at 10 a.m. today. “I think practicing on Thanksgiving is a good idea because it lets us go through our normal preparation for the week, and that’s probably the best plan,” Valencia defensive lineman T.J. May said. “It’s definitely exciting going deep into the playoffs, I think Thanksgiving practice gives us a sense of family because we’re all out practicing in the morning together.” While Canyon’s players had a break, coach Harry Welch did not. He spent about 10 hours Thursday analyzing video and preparing a game plan. Herrington also has an extra responsibility every Thanksgiving. He never forgets to warn his players not to overindulge at the dinner table because 11 years ago one of his starting defensive linemen got sick during a playoff game after eating too much turkey. “I always tell them at the end of practice not to be glutton. You don’t want to do that,” Herrington said. Gerry Gittelson, (661) 257-5218 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!