Cool, wet start to ‘heat week’ for area football teams

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Monday, August 7, 2017 | 3:00 PM


“Heat week” greeted local high school football teams Monday morning with rain and temperatures in the 60's. Sure, there was some late-summer sunshine, but it felt more like fall: “I had to wear a jacket today,” Hempfield coach Rich Bowen said.

Teams still went through the mandatory, non-contact workouts just the same as they prepare for the official start of training camp next Monday.

“It's not very ideal, but you can't control Mother Nature,” Yough coach Scott Wood said.

Heat acclimatization is meant to get players “acclimated” to hot and humid weather for training camp and early-season games and practices. But a trend has followed the PIAA rule since it was implemented in 2013.

“I don't think we have had a hot heat camp since they made them mandatory,” said Connellsville coach Marko Thomas, a former Penn-Trafford standout.

Players get plenty of cool-down breaks. But on Monday, they were looking to stay warm and dry at times.

Teams have been conditioning in voluntary sessions throughout the summer, with plenty of weeks that could have passed for heat acclimatization; Wincing, sweat-gleaming faces and dashes to the nearest garbage can or tree to give up breakfast proved that.

Some coaches have come to expect falling temperatures and wet weather for heat week.

“This is usually the way it goes,” Latrobe coach Jason Marucco said.

Players can wear helmets and shoulder pads during the workouts this week. Teams will condition for five days and players must participate in three consecutive workouts to be eligible for camp.

Practices can't last more than five hours and can be a minimum of three hours.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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