Friday night high school football is back!
I know. I know. It’s way too hot for football, but alas, the time is here – ready or not.
Actually, most high school football teams had some type of preseason event last Friday night. For a few teams, it was a night to just introduce team players, coaches, cheerleaders, and band members, with additional time for fans to “meet and greet.”
I read of one team that even hosted a free homemade ice cream party for the entire community. Wow, football and ice cream! That’s a winning combination, for sure.
Some high schools had an intramural match, while other teams hosted a neighboring school for a short scrimmage. That was the case for our favorite Mississippi high school football player! And we sure enjoyed watching him and his teammates get back out there on the gridiron.
Whatever the details were in your Mississippi hometown, Friday, August 18, 2023, turned out to be a great night for Mississippi preseason football. Even the weather cooperated in most spots, with a nice breeze and slightly lower temperatures, especially after sunset.
But this Friday night, things might be a little different from last week. Projected temperatures for the day include a high of over 100 degrees. Yep, you heard that right – over 100.
That is exactly why our state’s high schools are allowed to have a different start time for this weekend’s games. According to Rickey Neaves, the executive director of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA), high school teams have permission to change the game kickoff time for the weekend of August 24-26.
With official start times normally scheduled for 7 p.m., MHSAA announced that games can start as late as 8 p.m. this week, as long as both head coaches agree on the adjusted start time and notify the game officials well in advance.
So, make sure to check for time changes before you head out to see your favorite high schoolers play some football this weekend. And be aware that games might run a little longer as well.
In the past, Mississippi high school teams were allowed “heat timeouts” each quarter during these first high-temperature games. But Neaves announced that teams will be allowed to have more than one heat-related timeout per quarter, if necessary.
Considering that our beautiful state is predicted to see several days with temperatures of 100-plus, our MHSAA game officials will probably take advantage of these additional timeouts – just to be on the safe side with our young athletes.
As for those of us who are excited to watch our high school kids and grandkids play their first official football game of the 2023 season, it would also be wise to take some precautions.
Wear some lightweight clothing and stay hydrated. And for the rest of my fellow Mississippi Mamaws out there, maybe invest in a battery-operated fan. It’s money well spent!
Because no matter how hot it is, we do not want to miss a moment of those Friday night lights!