With temperatures climbing into the mid-90's Monday morning, Heber Springs opened “fall camp” under new regulations devised by the Arkansas Activities Association. This week high school teams are only allowed to wear helmets until Thursday when they can use shoulder pads and helmets. Full contact starts next week.
With temperatures climbing into the mid-90's Monday morning, Heber Springs opened “fall camp” under new regulations devised by the Arkansas Activities Association. This week high school teams are only allowed to wear helmets until Thursday when they can use shoulder pads and helmets. Full contact starts next week. Coach Steve Janski, entering his eighth season at the school, said the new restrictions ¬ the latest in an attempt to limit heat related deaths and illnesses ¬ should be a positive. “AAA has passed some new regulations this year and I am really excited about it because it really helps us get these kids better acclimated to the heat. “The first week you can only have one practice and it can't go over three hours. Then you have to give them an hour break while they get hydrated and you can take them back out for a walk-through only. During that time you can have meetings, film study and weight lifting. We do that outside of that hour rest time.” After the fifth practice, schools are allowed to have two practices or a super practice every other day. “Starting next Monday we can go to the 2-1 practice format where you can have two practices in a day, but the next day you can only have one,” said Janski. “You've just got to have an hour in between two practices. So, it's really good. We have five weeks to prepare these guys and that is more than enough. This gives us a better chance to slow them into football condition. Even though our summer conditioning helps out, especially this year with the heat up to 108 [degrees] and that field turf adds another 10-12 degrees, so it's really scary.” The Panthers are taking advantage of split offensive and defensive staffs this year, allowing for each player to get more repetitions. “We split our guys offensively and defensively so they are all getting reps. You are not going to see anybody standing around. We are taking advantage of so many different guys and putting them in so many different places. “That's really been awesome because we won't have to do as much conditioning because of the pace of practice. Used to we had the offense do 12 periods and the defense 12 periods. Well, the defense could kinda take 12 periods off because the coaches couldn't watch them. Now, we have coaches watching them the entire practice so it's worked real good,” added Janski. The 2-4A defending conference champion Panthers open their season on Aug. 31 at home against Pottsville, which won the 4-4A conference title last season.