Extreme heat prompted scores of area administrators to push high school football kickoff times on Friday back an hour or more.
Instead of the traditional 5 p.m. junior varsity start and 7 or 7:30 varsity kickoff, most regional teams will start JV at 6 and follow with varsity at 8 or 8:30. The Waterford at Hughson game in the southern part of the Sac-Joaquin Section will have a 9 p.m. varsity start. The forecast for Sacramento on Friday is 109 degrees.
Those within the section office in Lodi and at the CIF headquarters in Sacramento said they were pleased that schools exercised caution to best ensure player safety, stressing hydration and common sense.
“We’ve not really experienced temperatures like this on a football weekend in years, if not decades,” said Will DeBoard, section communications director and assistant commissioner. “It’s a great idea to give their teams some relief by pushing the times back a bit, and at the same time, most of the games are going to have uncharged timeouts in each quarter to allow for water breaks and cooling off. It’s going to be hot for players and fans alike, so everybody who is out there needs to be aware and hydrated.”
DeBoard said he has been asked why the section doesn’t have a heat index rule, unlike others in the state.
“Our schools wanted to keep that as a local decision,” DeBoard said. “If they wanted a heat rule, they could propose one, but ultimately the schools have their kids’ best interest in mind, too.”
The Kern High School District in Bakersfield canceled football games on Friday due to extreme heat. Three section games have been canceled as of Friday afternoon: Highlands at Lindhurst, Marysville at Wheatland and Allen of Santa Rosa at Millennium of Tracy.
The only reported venue change is No. 3 Jesuit now playing its home game against top-ranked Folsom at the Bulldogs’ field. Originally scheduled for 4:45 p.m., kickoff has been pushed to 8 p.m. with Jesuit receiving the gate receipts and Jesuit staffers manning the press box and the chain crew.
Rams venue change – Casa Roble is playing its home games at Bella Vista in Fair Oaks this season while the Rams’ home field in Orangevale is undergoing a field-turf upgrade. The San Juan Unified School District is upgrading athletic facilities at various schools.
Night games also provide a better atmosphere as compared to day games in searing temperatures. Rio Americano plays its home games at Del Campo in recent seasons, attracting a boisterous student rooting section and school band.
Rio Americano rode that energy in its home opener, beating Cordova 42-35 as Savion Ponce had a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and caught a touchdown from Maximus Davis. Jack Cartwright rushed for 150 yards and Jimmy Vine had 4 1/2 sacks.
This week’s schedule
All games start between 7-8 p.m., unless noted
No. 3 Jesuit at No. 1 Folsom
No. 2 Granite Bay at No. 15 Whitney
No. 4 Oak Ridge at Vacaville
Kennedy at No. 6 Inderkum
No. 7 Rocklin at Napa
Burbank at No. 9 Grant
No. 10 Capital Christian at Modesto Christian
No. 12 Franklin vs. Laguna Creek at Cosumnes River College
No. 13 Sheldon vs. Casa Roble at Bella Vista
No. 14 Antelope at Lincoln
Manteca vs. No. 16 Christian Brothers at Hughes Stadium
No. 17 Del Campo at Alameda
No. 18 Placer at Nevada Union
Wood at No. 19 River Valley
No. 20 Cosumnes Oaks vs. Pleasant Grove at Sheldon
Rio Vista at Natomas
Ponderosa at Vista del Lago
Rio Americano vs. Center at Del Campo
Davis at Woodcreek
Rio Linda at Roseville
Oakmont at Foothill
Colusa at East Nicolaus
Galt at Ripon
Los Banos at Liberty Ranch
Winters at Colfax
Bear River at Union Mine
Yuba City at Bradshaw Christian
Woodland at Rosemont
Johnson at Mountain House
Dixon at Sutter
El Dorado at Del Mar
Chavez at Cordova
Mira Loma vs. Encina at El Camino
Valley Christian at Big Valley
Golden Sierra vs. Mesa Verde at San Juan
Highlands at Lindhurst, canceled
Marysville at Wheatland, canceled
No. 5 Del Oro vs. Timpview-Utah at Mission Viejo, 4 p.m.
Serra-San Mateo at No. 8 Elk Grove
Florin at San Juan
River City vs. McClatchy at Hughes Stadium