Harrisonville finds ways to beat the heat
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
The first week of practice in Missouri saw the hottest weather of not just this year, but the last several years. With temperatures at or near 100 and heat indexes topping out at 110 and above, area schools had to be creative when scheduling practice time.
Like many schools Harrisonville went to morning and night sessions as a way to beat the heat. The Wildcats would go first thing with one practice and then head back at what will be the normal game time, 7 p.m., once the season gets underway.
Even though the heat was another factor that had to be dealt with, Harrisonville coach Chuck Lliteras used the late start time as a way to get his team acclimated to game time this fall.
“We were able to switch it around enough,” Lliteras said. “We moved the evening practice to seven at night right around the time we start games. We were able to practice under the lights. It allowed us to practice harder. That’s what time of the day we are going to play football games. We felt very good about this week. No heat related injuries, no casualties from that and the players practiced very hard this week.”
For the players it was tough to stay focused in the heat, but they found many positives to take out of a week of hot practices.
“It feels really good,” Harrisonville senior Alex Bartlett said. “I know it is really hot out here but we come in every day and stay hydrated. We come out and work hard every day. It’s hot, it’s sweaty but we push through it because we know we have to work hard if we want to be the best.
“It gets us really prepared for maybe even some of the warmer games we know if we been through these two-a-days with this 115 heat index we can go through anything.”
While some are just trying to get through the conditioning in the stifling heat, others were using it as a way to lead the team. Senior guard Justin Strong raced against the skill position guys in his post-practice sprints and said it is a good way to show the younger players what it takes to be successful.
“It is the most important, you get up there on the line and they don’t think you’re one of the fastest guys and you push against some of the fastest guys,” Strong said. “They (the younger players) will look up to you and follow you.”
Harrisonville opens it season Aug. 27 at home against Jefferson City Helias.
Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send e-mail to email@example.com.
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