Friday’s high school football showdown between top-ranked Folsom and No. 3 Jesuit has been moved to better deal with the 111-degree temperatures forecast in Carmichael.
Administrators from both schools on Tuesday quickly agreed to switch from Jesuit’s home field and 4:45 p.m. kickoff to a 7:30 p.m. start in Folsom.
Jesuit does not have stadium lights, and the school’s goal is to install them as part of an expansion plan to increase game attendance and improve the atmosphere. Jesuit has had home openers on campus before with 4:45 p.m. starts, but in sub-100 degree temperatures.
Friday will be a home game for Folsom, technically, but Jesuit staffers will be in charge of the press box, including using its own public-address voice, Tim Fleming. Jesuit will also provide its own chain gang. Jesuit will receive the gate receipts, the norm for home teams.
“It’s a chance to play in cooler temperatures because safety comes first,” Jesuit athletic director Greg Harcos said. “Safety is an issue when it’s this hot. We’ll mix and match crew at the game, and we’ll play football and get after it.”
Jesuit and Folsom are in the midst of a four-year contract. It started last season, at Folsom, after the schools competed against each other for years in the Delta League. Folsom before last season was realigned to the Sierra Foothill League.
“We’re glad to help,” Folsom coach Kris Richardson said. “Playing in 110-degree heat is not a good idea. We’ve had great games with Jesuit, and we know this can be a cash cow at our place, so we’re glad to get them the gate receipts.”
Coaches across the region have adjusted practice schedules due to the record heat. Many coaches have limited practices to an hour, maybe 90 minutes.
“You want to get work done, need to get work in, but you don’t want to exhaust your kids before Friday, so there are definitely challenges there,” Richardson said. “Shortening practices, minimizing conditioning, making sure everyone stays hydrated, it’s all part of it.”