Heat is on already for high school football

The first week of practice features high temperatures

By Paul Valencia, Columbian High School Sports Reporter



The morning cloud cover had just broken way, allowing for the sun to make its presence known at about the same time the Skyview football team took the field for its first official practice of the 2012 season.

It was 9 a.m. and 69 degrees. Within an hour, it was 74.

“It’s not 100 right now. I can’t really say what I’ll be like when it’s 100 and I’m dying, but it’s football, so I’m still excited,” junior Jacob Dennis said. “I’m excited for football no matter what the weather is.”

The Storm were scheduled to get off the field around noon, before the real heat hit.

Other teams throughout Clark County were just about to get started. Union began practice at 2 p.m. — it was 90 degrees.

“I didn’t really think about it. It’s football,” senior Nick Anderson said. “I tried to keep the heat out of my mind and just practice. That’s all that mattered to me.”

Over at Hudson’s Bay, the Eagles got outside around 5:30 p.m., right when it hit 96.

Just like their counterparts at Skyview and Union, the Bay players weren’t sweating the temp.

“It would have been fun to have a little bit more time out here,” junior Ane Sipaia said with a smile.

“We gotta get out and start practicing,” junior Alex Demenko added. “We gotta win this year.”

The tough talk should see a tougher test. According to forecasts, Wednesday could be cooler than the remainder of the week. Highs are expected to break 100 on Thursday, and it could hit triple digits again on Friday.

If there is any good out of this regarding temperatures, it is the education in past decades regarding heat dangers and athletics.

“Any time you want water, you can always get water,” Skyview coach Steve Kizer told his players.

Other coaches across the county echoed that policy. Players will not be considered wimps, like old-school coaches used to claim.

Kizer said his program is proactive, with morning practices the first three days. When the Storm begin two-a-days Saturday, all conditioning drills will be done in the morning sessions.

While some teams changed their practice times to adjust to the extreme heat, Union went ahead with its 2 p.m. start.

“We did the practice schedule back in May and when you have this many kids, changing practices can become problematic,” Union coach Cale Piland said. “We have a full-time athletic trainer on site, and there is water whenever (the players) need it. We’ll monitor it as we go.”

Camas players gathered for indoor meetings and activities at 3 p.m., with the plan to get on the field at 5 p.m.

That schedule was set up a while back, but it makes even more sense to coach Jon Eagle on a week like this. Camas’ practice field, with trees lining the facility, is in the shade in the evening.

“I just figured why are we practicing at 9 in the morning,” Eagle reasoned, referring to previous years. “We don’t play at that time. Plus, the kids like to stay up late in the summer and sleep in. They want to continue that.”

Heritage players won’t be sleeping in this week. They changed their schedule because of the forecast and will be practicing at 7 a.m. Thursday and Friday.

New Hudson’s Bay coach Sylvester Green Jr., said his original plan was for the Eagles to be on the field at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Instead, the coaches and players had meetings inside, then went out for a short practice at 5:30. He already changed the schedule for Thursday, too. Instead of a 1 p.m. start, his Eagles will be going at 10 a.m.

Fort Vancouver made it outside at 6 p.m., with the temperature falling to 94 degrees.

“It’s not ideal, but it should be cooling off as we go along,” Fort coach Eric Ollikainen said. “We play (our first game) at 5 o’clock anyway. We should get used to this.”

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