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Summer’s Last Stand: Intense temperatures derail opening weeks of fall sports season.

Intense temperatures derail opening weeks of fall sports season.
Senior+Connor+Neenan+and+junior+Grant+Kellerman+sweat+out+the+first+varsity+football+game+against+Blue+Valley+North+on+Sept.+1.+Temperatures+reached+as+high+as+90+degrees.
Megan Mayer
Senior Connor Neenan and junior Grant Kellerman sweat out the first varsity football game against Blue Valley North on Sept. 1. Temperatures reached as high as 90 degrees.

Across the state, athletic departments have been dealing with some of the most dangerous temperatures in recent memory.

“As far as canceling practices, we have never had to do that,” Athletic Director Joe Schramp said. “This was probably the hottest I have ever seen it.”

The KSHSAA 2023-2024 heat policy identifies five different temperature categories. Temperatures in the green zone allow for practice to occur as normal. Yellow, orange and red increasingly mandate rest breaks and shorten the maximum time allowed for a practice. The black zone nixes any athletic activity for that day. 

All five fall sports programs who practice outside either moved or canceled practices. Both the soccer team and the football team felt the full brunt of the heatwave. The programs were forced to abandon normal practice times and find a way to work around each other. Splitting the only turf field at abnormal times in the past weeks has led to a mental and physical strain on both teams. 

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“You could tell by the end of the week it was taking a toll on them,” head football coach Jon Holmes said. “Morning practice is different when school starts, you have a full day of school after that. It’s a hard thing to get up for practice at 6 a.m.” 

Early in the morning, temperatures reached 80 degrees, covering the athletic fields in fog. 

“The heat was draining,” soccer coach Nate Huppe said. “That first week was awful.”

Miege athletic staff who face other time commitments also felt the strain of the schedule.

“We had guys who don’t work in the building who have to leave early or aren’t here at all,” Holmes said. “It makes it so hard.”

Practices were not the only thing affected by these temperatures, however. Game times were altered by the hot temperatures, which was equally detrimental to the soccer program.

“We had to play two EKL schools in three days,” Huppe said. “We were supposed to have those games on a Friday and a Tuesday. They got rescheduled to a Saturday and a Monday.”

While teams are forced to practice around these scorching temperatures, the work still goes on no matter what.

“You just have to adjust,” Holmes said. “The guys are good at that. We have 29 seniors who have been through a lot together, and they’ll get through this too.” 

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About the Contributors
Daniel Sullivan
Daniel Sullivan, Sports Editor
Megan Mayer
Megan Mayer, Staff Writer

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