Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Steamy Heat Plays Havoc with Football Schedules

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Steamy Heat Plays Havoc with Football Schedules

Article excerpt

A forecast calling for blistering heat through Sunday will be a sharp change from the unseasonably cool summer this year and is prompting school districts to shift game times at the start of the high school football season.

Highs in the mid- to upper 90s, combined with high humidity, will produce heat indexes from 100 to 108 through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

The hottest day this year was 99 degrees on July 26, according to the weather service, and it's unlikely that this spate of hot days will produce triple-digit temperatures. The cooler-than-normal summer has included a record for the lowest maximum temperature. That happened July 15 when the thermometer climbed only to 76, a degree lower than the previous record set in 1891.

To deal with the weekend heat wave, many school districts are pushing back the start time of football games from 7 p.m. today to 7:30, which is when the matchup between Lindbergh and Kirkwood will begin.

The temperature is supposed to drop in that 30-minute span as the sun goes down, said Beth Johnston, a Lindbergh spokeswoman.

The game will include mandatory water breaks, and electric fans will spray a mist of water.

"We always want to make sure the athletes are safe and hydrated," Johnston said.

She said soccer and softball games that had been scheduled for 4 p.m. today were rescheduled to different days. Other districts also are making schedule changes.

The football game between McCluer High School and Clyde C. Miller Career Academy had been slated for 4:15 p.m. today, but was moved to 10 a.m. Saturday.

And the Saturday football game at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School against Hannibal was originally slated to start at 1 p.m., but now kickoff is 10 a.m. Soccer games will start then as well.

"We've had such a mild summer and a mild two weeks, and, boom, it hits us," Don Maurer, athletic director of MICDS, said of the heat.

The two schools had to factor in Hannibal's nearly two-hour drive to MICDS in determining the time change, the first Maurer can remember for a football game. …

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