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As temperature drops, competition season heats back up

Avery Brasfield
Titan football team lines up ready to snap the ball during indoor practice at Papillion Landing on Aug. 23. Dangerously high temps drove many teams indoors this week.

After a heat wave that had teams all over the Omaha Metro sweating the logistics of practice, varsity football will hit the home field at 7 p.m. Friday to face off against the Fremont Tigers. It will be the first Titan team to compete outdoors since the heat wave hit Monday, Aug. 21, setting off a week of restrictions limiting outdoor sports to morning or nighttime hours to avoid dangerously high temperatures.

“We had two choices,” Athletic Director Jeremy Van Ackeren said, when determining whether outdoor practices would be an option for football. “[Y]ou can either practice in the morning before school or anytime 8 o’clock [at night] and beyond — but we decided being outside after 8 o’clock was off limits.”

“The most important concern is always the kids.”

— Bubba Penas, Assistant AD

Football presented unique challenges, Van Ackeren explained.

“There are a lot of kids, and they don’t want morning practices, because during the season they can’t go home and rest,” he said.

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Assistant Activities Director Bubba Penas added to that list of challenges.

“If there is a younger kid who can’t drive or [has] parents going to work, then they may not be able to get to practice,” he said.

This left the football team with only one option: indoor practice after school.

The team spent the week preparing at two indoor facilities, The Center at 144th and Giles in Omaha, and Papillion Landing at 1046 Lincoln Road. Both locations feature indoor turf fields large enough to match the size of a regular football field. Even indoors, the team faced fierce heat because both facilities lack air conditioning. The temperature of the Landing field space was measured at 90.6 at 6 p.m. Tuesday night after practice.

The Nebraska School Activities Association begins advising caution once the temperature exceeds 89.7 degrees. Midday temps reached above 100 for most of the week, so Titan teams adjusted as they could.

The softball girls opted to practice before school, but their schedule came up one day short of being able to compete this week, with Thursday’s Senior Night game against Omaha Westview postponed because of the heat.

Cross County and Tennis both switched their practices to mornings but otherwise proceeded as normal. Neither team was scheduled to compete during the restricted time period.

“The most important concern is always the kids,” Penas said. “The health of our students is far more important than the sport.”





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About the Contributors
Parker Hylok, Staff Reporter
Hello! I am Parker Hylok. This is my first year on staff, and I am senior. I have been on the Varsity Soccer team since Freshman year. If I am not in school, you are likely to see me playing soccer, fishing, lifting, or taking a nap. I am super excited to be a part of journalism.
Avery Brasfield, Photographer
I feel like my biggest strength as a photographer is passion. I am constantly wanting to learn more and have more experience. I love to spend my time taking photos. I love the feeling of going home and seeing what I captured. Seeing my growth makes me want to strive harder to be better every day. I love being on the sidelines taking everything in. I also love to capture people that don't normally get the recognition they deserve. Showing people someone's personality and who they really are is my favorite.
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