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The South Dakota heat will certainly be a problem for athletes as the first high school games are on Aug. 18.

Is starting high school football practice in early August a good idea for South Dakota
Jun 14, 2017

By Rich Winter

As we drift towards the middle part of June it's kinda hard to fathom that in exactly 63 days high school football teams across South Dakota will be lining up for their season openers on Aug. 18.


Hmmmm, Aug. 18th!


Gotta admit, right out of the gate I personally am not a fan of this move by the South Dakota High School Activities Association. 


As it was explained to me, the reason for the move is so that at the end of the season, teams can have a full week of recovery time between playoff games.


Listen, I'm all for player safety and the extra time to recover is fantastic. But, if your going to look at all the factors and weigh player safety in as a factor then it is my personal opinion that the SDHSAA is out of their minds for considering starting football practice the first week of August. 


Early August where the early morning temps are in the mid 70's and the daytime highs are still surging towards 100 degrees. 


Couple things that really bother me about this move.

1. It's hot that time of year - The SDHSAA better pray that no-one suffers heat stroke. Playing and practicing football in early August in 100 degreee weather is just wrong. 


2. For those that made this decision, did they consider rural South Dakota at all - Not sure the percentage or rural athletes that play football but, there are some tuff ole farm boys who still have plenty of work to do until the latter part of August. That's a big thing to send one or two 15-18 year old boys into town for two-a-day practices and such when there is only so much daylight and tons of work to be done. 


3. For Native American football playing school in South Dakota, getting kids to football practice prior to the start of school is nearly impossible. Kids on the Rosebud just don't start getting after it until Rosebud Fair is in the books. So, your telling me that the boys, on the Rosebud, some who don't attend camp until after Aug. 28 are going to be in the third week of the season? 


I don't like it!


4. What about attendance and fans and such - I'm just not ready to stand out on the sidelines on Aug. 18, sweating to the oldies as teams come out to play during some dreadfully hot weather. 

5. The Colome Cowboys will have approximately 6 players, who will not be available for their first game versus Centerville.  These 'Boys rodeo and just so happens the 4H State Rodeo Finals falls on August 18th...  WHEOW!  Returning State 9B Champions minus Dougherty, Shippy, Cahoy, Solano and more.  YIKES! In Class 9B it is like splitting hairs late in the season with Power Points. This is HUGE


Not trying to bash the SDHSAA here, but I'm not entirely sure those that are making the decisions are considering all of the important factors that in my opinion make this a poor decision.



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