Heat forces football teams to alter practice schedules

By TOMMY BRYAN, The Wilson Post
Wilson County’s public school football teams are taking the current heat wave one day at a time as Wednesday’s high temperatures again forced coaches to juggle their practice times and locations.

David Burton, director of safety for the school system, sent an e-mail to fall sports head coaches and band directors Tuesday, and again Wednesday requiring them to move scheduled practices indoors or hold off until after 7 p.m. due to the heat index soaring over 100 degrees.

Wilson Central’s first year head coach Brad Dedman broke practice up into two sessions Tuesday.

“First we went in the gym for our individual and group work,” Dedman said, “but we went outside at 7 so we could get in some 11-on-11 team work.”

Mt. Juliet football coach Roger Perry sent his charges through a regular practice Tuesday afternoon inside the huge grand hallway at MJHS. Blessed with a rubberized floor, the Golden Bears hardly missed a beat. The Bears are expected to head inside again today.

Watertown High coach Gavin Webster sent his team home after school with instructions to return at 7 p.m. for practice.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep these young men safe and healthy,” Webster said. "We told them to make sure they took on plenty of water and had a good meal before they came back."

Lebanon High’s coaching staff sent their ninth graders inside for a practice in the gymnasium, with the varsity squad slated to return for a scaled back practice at 7 p.m.

“We won’t go full blast,” Blue Devil coach Bobby Brown said, “but we’ll get a lot of work done. We’ll just have to adjust a little until the weather breaks.”

Lebanon will adhere to the same schedule today.

Sports Editor Tommy Bryan may be contacted at tbryan@wilsonpost.com.