Fuquay-Varina football coach Jeb Hall said early August’s cooler-than-usual weather means area high school football coaches and athletic trainers will need to be even more vigilant in Friday night’s openers. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-90s on Friday.
“Having cooler weather during most of the conditioning period didn’t do us a favor,” Hall said. “We really haven’t had many really hot days. Friday night we’re going to be playing in the heat.”
Most heat-related problems come in practice. Teams practice more than they play, and most players get frequent breaks during games.
But Que Tucker, a deputy commissioner of the N.C. High School Athletic Association, said game officials will be aware of the conditions and have the ability to call official timeouts to provide more water breaks for players.
“Our officials will be aware of the temperatures,” Tucker said. “The officials will be out there in the heat, too.”
Fuquay is a member of the Southwest Wake Athletic 4A Conference, which has moved kickoffs to 7 p.m., instead of 7:30 p.m.
“It is still going to be hot when we get started,” he said. “The sun won’t be down yet.”
The Bengals face a challenge against a Millbrook team that is ranked No. 3 in the Metro area.
“We’re young,” Hall said. “We don’t have many seniors. We used a lot of sophomores last year and they are back. That’s good, but we are not an experienced football team.”
Knights runner: Knightdale sophomore distance runner Aleena Cruz picked up her third school record Aug. 16 at the Bay Six Kickoff Classic cross country run.
Running in the 3,000-meter race for juniors and seniors, Cruz ran a 12:18, breaking the 6-year-old school record by three seconds.
Cruz holds the school record in the mile (5:45) and the 5K (20:03) from her freshman year.
“She’s going to be tough, man,” Knightdale cross country coach Mark Batey said. “She’s just got to keep getting stronger.
“I know there’s some other people in the state that do this, but we’ve never had a distance runner in eastern Wake County in the 10 years I’ve been at Knightdale who at that age runs as strong as she does.”
Big boys: Durham Hillside has outstanding speed, but the Hornets also have tremendous size with seniors DeSean Scott (6-0, 300) and Daquan Brown (6-2, 310) and freshmen Shannon Mercier (6-4, 300) and Mike Hope, Jr. (6-0, 300).
Hillside has six other players who weigh 250 or more, including tackle standout Emanuel McGirt (6-6, 270).
Recruiting: Middle Creek softball standout Devin Wallace, a junior, committed to Coastal Carolina.
Green Hope basketball guard Jack Costigan, a senior, committed to UNC-Asheville.
J. Mike Blake and Aaron Moody contributed to this story