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FOOTBALL: Local schools continue GHSA mandated acclimation days

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With a long stretch of either rainy or mostly overcast days, the past few weeks haven’t provided ideal weather for football players to become adjusted to the heat and humidity that the summer normally brings.

But the past two days have featured plenty of sun — and the timing couldn’t have been better.

With most of the local teams currently conducting their GHSA-required acclimation days — which started for most squads on Thursday and continued Friday — the hot weather is helping the players become accustom to the heat as teams prepare to go into this season full force.

At Armuchee, the Indians are getting out later in the day for the acclimation process to help avoid the heat of the afternoons.

“There’s still some heat for the first hour or so of practice, but the kids are getting plenty of water breaks without losing any practice time,” said head coach Preston Cash.

The Indians are approaching the allowed practice time differently than most schools in the Greater Rome area.

“We’re working on agilities and conditioning so pads don’t slow us down next week,” said Cash. “The acclimation days are a good chance to get in better shape before the season.”

Model head coach Gordon Powers sounded enthusiastic about the impact of the acclimation days on his team.

“It’s good to actually be on the field,” said Powers. “Just to get away from the weight training and conditioning and do something that’s just (football).”

Attendance during summer workouts hasn’t been an issue for the Blue Devils according to Powers.

“Most of our players have been coming to workouts so our guys are in pretty good shape already,” said Powers. “But it’s good to change it up and actually practice.”

The Devils, like Armuchee, have been practicing earlier in the day to beat the heat, and Coach Powers is seeing the difference.

“We get more done in the morning because we don’t have to worry about it getting too hot or having to move inside to practice,” Powers said.

“The boys are fresher and we can just get more out of them in the mornings, too.”

The Coosa Eagles continued the acclimation process Friday and head coach Todd Wheeler shares the spirit for morning practices, holding practices before the afternoon heat hits.

“These days, (we) let the kids come in and get on the field,” said Wheeler. “They’re going really well and the kids are doing great.”

Pepperell head coach Jeff Shiflett thinks the days are going “extremely well” for the Dragons.

“The kids are excited to be back on the field,” said Shiflett. “It’s been a good summer, and we’re getting ready to suit up the first day of August.”

The teams will now take the weekend off before continuing on Monday with the acclimation process, which run through Wednesday. The ‘official’ practices will begin Thursday.