Area high school football games adjust to heat

Many starting an hour later

NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo - The heat will force several high school football games to begin an hour late Friday.

Schools will use misting fans to keep the athletes cool and a staff of trainers will be on the sidelines to look for heat-related symptoms.

Any time the temperature goes up to 95 degrees, the state of Missouri requires coaches to alter the team's practice and game schedule.

Many teams have practiced before school this week, or held off practice until dusk. Some teams even practiced indoors.

Football can be especially dangerous in the heat because of the equipment, Winnetonka High School activities director Jeff Rich said.

"We're going to take off our shoulder pads to warm up and come up with just shorts until the last minute, and then put on the pads," he explained. "Football equipment is not only heavy, but very hot".

The turf on many football fields also tends to absorb heat throughout the day.
Many schools will kick off around 8 p.m. Friday. Even then, the temperature is expected to be around 88 degrees.

Here's a list of the schools delaying kickoff time:

• Blue Springs South at Truman, (played at William Chrisman), 8 p.m.

• Lee's Summit West at Staley, 8 p.m.

• Liberty at Winnetonka, (played at North Kansas City), 8:05 p.m.

• Oak Grove at Lexington, 8 p.m.

• Polo at Van Horn, (played at Truman), 8 p.m.

• Richmond at O'Hara, 8 p.m.

• Ruskin at Liberty North, 8 p.m.

• St. Joseph Central at Blue Springs, 8 p.m.

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