KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Piper Pirates were up before the sun Tuesday and on the practice field at 5:30 a.m. to beat the heat.
"We’re figuring out something," head football coach Rick Pollard said. "We’re practicing no matter what the outside temperature is."
Still, the heat index prevented the Pirates from having a padded practice after school.
“We want to make sure we get the most out of practice, and if you come out here in full pads with a heat index of 120, you’re not going to get the most out of practice," Pollard said.
So the Pirates have been practicing under the lights before school this week and leaving the light work for after school practices.
“Waking up in the morning under the lights, before the sun’s even up just to get the work in is great," said junior Camden Beebe.
Despite the long days, the Pirates don't mind the early wake up call.
“It’s in like the morning so you’ve got a different energy," senior Blake Porter said, "and it’s like you wake up and you’re ready to go to football."
The team is preparing to face Ottawa High School on Friday, Sept. 4, on the road. Then, the team will host Eudora High School on Sept. 10 in the team's first home game since 2019.
"Our guys have been looking forward to that first home game," Pollard said. "It’s against a team that we lost to in the playoffs, and we feel like we should have played better against."
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pirates played their 2020 football season on the road.