ShareThis Page
Football

Mt. Pleasant, other area teams begin PIAA-mandated acclimatization period

| Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, 12:16 a.m.
Mt. Pleasant junior Nick Fazekas takes a mandatory water break during his team's first state-mandated heat acclimation practice session Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, at Viking Stadium in Mt. Pleasant.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Mt. Pleasant junior Nick Fazekas takes a mandatory water break during his team's first state-mandated heat acclimation practice session Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, at Viking Stadium in Mt. Pleasant.
Mt. Pleasant assistant coach Jason Fazekas runs players through a drill during their first state-mandated heat acclimation practice session Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, at Viking Stadium in Mt. Pleasant.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Mt. Pleasant assistant coach Jason Fazekas runs players through a drill during their first state-mandated heat acclimation practice session Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, at Viking Stadium in Mt. Pleasant.
Mt. Pleasant assistant coach Jason Fazekas runs players through a drill during their first state-mandated heat acclimation practice session at Viking Stadium on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 in Mt. Pleasant.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Mt. Pleasant assistant coach Jason Fazekas runs players through a drill during their first state-mandated heat acclimation practice session at Viking Stadium on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 in Mt. Pleasant.
Mt. Pleasant head coach Bo Ruffner directs players during their first state-mandated heat acclimation practice session at Viking Stadium on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 in Mt. Pleasant.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Mt. Pleasant head coach Bo Ruffner directs players during their first state-mandated heat acclimation practice session at Viking Stadium on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 in Mt. Pleasant.
Mt. Pleasant quarterback Johnny Yester passes during his team's first state-mandated heat acclimation practice session at Viking Stadium on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 in Mt. Pleasant.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Mt. Pleasant quarterback Johnny Yester passes during his team's first state-mandated heat acclimation practice session at Viking Stadium on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 in Mt. Pleasant.
Mt. Pleasant running back Chris Wagner runs through a drill during his team's first state-mandated heat acclimation practice session at Viking Stadium on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 in Mt. Pleasant.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Mt. Pleasant running back Chris Wagner runs through a drill during his team's first state-mandated heat acclimation practice session at Viking Stadium on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 in Mt. Pleasant.

Throughout the course of the summer, high school football teams do their best to prepare for the season.

Many teams take advantage of summer conditioning and weightlifting sessions and opt to participate in various seven-on-seven events throughout the area.

One thing that is not optional for any team in Pennsylvania, however, is the PIAA-mandated heat acclimatization period.

Started in 2013, the heat acclimatization period is designed to get players on the field in the summer heat wearing helmets and shoulder pads. One of the goals of the heat acclimatization period is to allow players to make a smooth transition into practices with full pads, which begin next week.

The first day heat acclimatization was allowed to begin was Monday.

This year, the heat acclimatization period was lengthened from three days to five. In order for players to practice in full pads next week, they must complete at least three consecutive days of practice during the heat acclimatization period.

Throughout the rest of this week, teams cannot be on the field more than five hours a day. However, teams must practice a minimum of three hours each day in order to satisfy the heat acclimatization requirements.

Mt. Pleasant coach Bo Ruffner noted his team is simply trying to take advantage of the extra time spent on the field leading into the first official week of practice.

“We never practice for three hours, so that is different for us, and it's really a long time for us,” Ruffner said. “It's what the state mandates us to do. We try to get all three phases in during those three hours.”

While being on the field for three hours at a time might be different, Ruffner sees some benefits.

“It gets the kids used to wearing equipment, and hopefully, that will lead us into next week,” Ruffner said. “We just try to use it as a week to work on fundamentals and getting used to having pads on.”

Frazier coach Mike Steeber and his staff use the heat acclimatization period as a continuation of summer workouts. However, he noted the players are made aware of using safeguards to prevent heat-related health issues.

“We remind them to stay hydrated and watch what they eat and speak up if they are having any problems,” Steeber said.

Steeber also believes the five days of heat acclimatization can ease the transition into next week's full-scale practices.

“It balances out our schedule a little bit,” Steeber said. “It's five days of mandatory work (this week), so it might lighten up next week in terms of the schedule.”

According to Connellsville coach Dave McDonald, the heat acclimatization is just another step toward the season, with one notable exception.

“Teams have been doing this stuff all summer long,” McDonald said. “But now the kids have to be there, and that's a nice thing.”

Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at jblack@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me