On the eve of the 2018-19 scholastic season, high temperatures are still wreaking havoc on preparations for the upcoming fall campaigns.
Many schools are being dismissed early, practices and scrimmages are being modified and games have been pushed back to later in the season.
Among the changes was the postponement of Sheehan/Lyman Hall soccer doubleheader. Originally scheduled for Opening Day on Thursday, the twinbill has been pushed to Monday, Sept. 24. S
Sheehan athletic director Chris Dailey said the games were postponed due to Thursday’s weather forecast and the Sheehan teams not meeting the minimum 10-practice threshold the CIAC requires before starting the season.
“Our coaches have been great,” Dailey said. “The athletic trainers have been terrific, as have the student athletes. They’ve been following the guidelines we put into place and safety is the most important factor. We’ve taken precautions, such as holding outdoor practices in the evening and extra water breaks.”
Dailey said it’s the hottest first few weeks of the fall season he can remember in his years as a coach and now athletic director. Because of the heat, Wallingford’s soccer rivals will have to wait before meeting. They’ll play Sept. 24 at Sheehan and one week later at Lyman Hall.
“It will be fun when we have the doubleheader in a few weeks,” Dailey said. “The most important thing is the safety of the kids and we adust accordingly.”
Thursday’s postponed doubleheader means the Sheehan girls and both Lyman Hall teams won’t open until Tuesday. The Sheehan boys remain on target to open on Saturday at home against East Haven at 1 p.m.
Over in Meriden, Maloney held boys and girls soccer scrimmages on Tuesday that included extended water breaks in the shade.
“The safety of the kids is our top priority,” Maloney AD Bob McKee said. “We have cancelled scrimmages and moved teams indoors. We use a modified gym schedule to get practice times for all teams. We’ve modified practices as regards so their frequent water breaks. We are being very careful for safety. We are doing as much as we can to keep these kids safe.”
McKee said the weather has not set the Maloney squads behind schedule.
“My coaches do a great job, “ McKee said. “They are detail oriented and know how to plan. They are still getting in productive work and everyone arond the state is in the same boat. Our kids are prepared for the first game and I know our coaches are doing a great job with it.”
Over at Wilcox Tech, athletic director Steve Wodarski said his team is ready to open up on Friday at full strength.
“The weather hasn’t impacted us as much,” Wodarski said. “Football started early because they didn’t practice in the spring. We also had two volleyball scrimmages on the road, which opened up gym time for the other teams. We are fortunate our school is air conditioned.”
When outside, Wodarski said, his coaches have used caution and good judgment when out in the heat.
At Platt, it’s all systems go, according to athletic director Rich Katz. He said practices have been cut short throughout the preseason due to the heat, yet have still been held every day. The cross country team trained indoors and, when outside, run across a shady trail. The soccer teams have had scrimmages cancelled along the way, but have still been able to split practices outdoors and inside.
Football has practiced with helmets and no pads when the heat is at its most intense. In a nod to the heat, Platt’s season opener Thursday night at Farmington has been pushed back an hour from 6 to 7 p.m.