Joe Davidson

Uncharged timeouts, late kickoffs: Schools work to cool concerns over extreme heat

Area teams have pushed kickoff times back an hour or more due to excessive heat.
Area teams have pushed kickoff times back an hour or more due to excessive heat. Sacramento Bee file

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.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

This week’s schedule

Friday

All games start between 7-8 p.m., unless noted

Top 20

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

Other games

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

Saturday

Top 20

No. 5 Del Oro vs. Timpview-Utah at Mission Viejo, 4 p.m.

Serra-San Mateo at No. 8 Elk Grove

Other games

Florin at San Juan

River City vs. McClatchy at Hughes Stadium

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