After a cool summer, are teams ready for the heat of Friday nights?
by Carlton D. White
cwhite@mdjonline.com
August 22, 2013 12:34 AM | 1540 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta coach Scott Burton watches his players during drills. With the summer being cool and wet, coaches have had to juggle some practice schedules, and now they have the concern of getting the players ready to play in hotter and more humid conditions Friday, when the forecasted high is supposed to be 87 degrees with a 30-percent chance of thunderstorms.
Marietta coach Scott Burton watches his players during drills. With the summer being cool and wet, coaches have had to juggle some practice schedules, and now they have the concern of getting the players ready to play in hotter and more humid conditions Friday, when the forecasted high is supposed to be 87 degrees with a 30-percent chance of thunderstorms.
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This has not been a typical Georgia summer.

As high school football practices opened the beginning of August, the metro-Atlanta area had already seen copious amounts of rainfall since the beginning of the year.

Depending on one’s outlook, the situation only grew worse as the month continued.

According to AccuWeather.com, the Atlanta region has already received more rainfall in 2013 than it usually receives in an entire calendar year.

With that rainfall comes more clouds, lower temperatures and, often, higher humidity.

It’s a situation Cobb County coaches haven’t had to deal with much over the years with record drought conditions and above-average temperatures making big news as recently as 2010. With or without the rain and high temperatures, practices had to continue as teams prepare for the upcoming football season.

“I don’t know if anybody’s gained an advantage because of the weather,” Marietta coach Scott Burton said. “We lost some days outside, but so has everybody probably. We prepare for those things before hand and give the guys some mental days inside with meetings and watching film instead of outside physical days.

“The kids have done a good job with their conditioning and staying in shape. It’s been a cool August, but the kids have a great level of fitness, so they should be ready for any changes in temperatures in the future.”

Lassiter has also had its share of problems with rain cancelling some of the outdoor practices.

“We missed practice (Wednesday) because of a cell that sat on us and we missed a day last week because of rain,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “Both days were contact days, so we’ve had only eight of those so far. If we had to play a game this week, then we’d be in a lot of trouble.”

Fortunately for the Trojans, as well as for many of the teams in Cobb County, any rainy days that do occur don’t necessarily have to keep the players off the field.

“It’s good that we have these turf fields so the kids don’t slip and slide when they are out there. Practicing on that could lead to more injuries.

“What I’m more worried about is when the heat gets back into the 90s. These kids haven’t been used to that. When we deal with rain and lightning, we can make adjustments, but a heat snap in September or later this month after the guys have been dealing with cooler temperatures could make things interesting.”

Friday’s forecast calls for a high of 87 degrees, with a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms.

Kennesaw Mountain coach Andy Scott doesn’t believe the weather has helped or hindered his team’s preparations for the season.

“We’re spoiled as Cobb coaches,” he said. “We practice on turf so our preparation really hasn’t been affected. Lightning has affected us a couple of times this year, though. We’ve had a big downpour hit us, but five minutes later, we’re back out there practicing. When there’s lightning, we go inside and watch videos or train and just keep them mentally sharp.”

Scott added that if the hot weather does return, his staff will be ready to follow the proposed GHSA rules.

“The rain has made the humidity worse,” he said. “If it gets too bad, we’ll just give the kids more breaks and prescribe to the laws of the GHSA. We’ll have to keep them hydrated once that sun comes back.”

Osborne coach Xarvia Smith also hasn’t had any problems with the weather as it relates to his Cardinals.

“We’ve been fine,” he said. “It’s been cool. We haven’t missed a practice, and the cooler weather has definitely been a plus for the kids. It hasn’t bothered them.

“And because they’ve been in the heat all summer and they’ve practiced in it before it got cooler, they’ll be use to it when the heat comes back. The kids are in shape, so we really haven’t thought about how the weather has affected us.”

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