Practice Makes Perfect
photos and stories by angelina bellebuono
Coaching football, or any sport, is an act of faith. Or, better yet, it is an act of hope.
And hope is abundant this week, as the Bulldog coaching staff prepares the team for their annual, pre-season scrimmage match-up. For the past several years, this scrimmage has been played at home, but this year's Bulldog team is taking to the road.
Thursday afternoon, the team heads north to Jefferson High School where they will face the Jefferson High School Dragons at Jefferson Memorial Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. kick-off.
Malone and his staff are planning a rigorous week of preparations for the match, which will feature a first half played like a regular season game with live special teams.
The third quarter will give the Bulldogs a chance to give their depth players more experience, and the fourth quarter will feature junior varsity, without special teams.
Malone is expecting a good match-up, and is clear in what he wants out of Thursday's game. "My main goals are to come out injury free, and to win the scrimmage," he stated via e-mail Monday.
Malone and his coaching staff, the Touchdown Club and the athletes are hoping for a Bulldog crowd in the stands Thursday evening. Wear your red and black and get to the game. Look above for directions (inset in the text.)
Get to the Game!
Take Hwy 441 North to Athens. On Loop 10,
take exit 129 North.
Head on 129 North towards Jefferson. Do not take the Jefferson Bypass, but remain on 129 North.
Cross Winder Highway
(Highway 11.) Turn right onto Old Swimming Pool Road. Stadium is on right.
New heat regs for hot Dogs
It looks a bit like an alien has invaded football practice at Morgan County High School.
Never fear. This device is actually to help keep the athletes safer. Although the Georgia High School Association has put new heat regulations into play this school year, MCHS developed heat guidelines many years ago, Head Coach Bill Malone explained in an interview with the Citizen last spring, and they have been using those guidelines prior to the GHSA's new standards.
Athletic Trainer Dennis Sitzmann is responsible for maintaining the records and the measuring device, pictured here, which incorporates a both wet and dry bulb temperature readings.
According to www.sciencedaily.com, the wet bulb globe thermometer device "provides a measure of the air temperature, the ability of evaporation to cool the player, and the amount of solar radiation absorbed by a surface (in this case, the player's exposed skin)."
The device produces a WBGT reading (Wet Bulb/Globe Temperature) and the coaches and trainers use that number to determine at each practice the frequency of breaks, the hydration requirements, maximum practice times and the level of protective gear that can be worn.
Athletic Director Steve Cisson wants the parents and community to know that the safety of the high school athletes is first and foremost on the coaches' and trainers' minds.
"If folks notice we are changing practice times and duration of practices, it's important that they know it's because we are paying close attention to the heat guidelines," Cisson said. "We want our student athletes to be healthy and safe at all times."
According the GHSA website, a WBGT reading below 82 means that normal activities can occur, provided that three separate breaks of three minutes each are provided each hour. For amounts greater than 82, the requirements become more stringent. At a WBGT reading over 92, all outdoor workouts must be delayed until a cooler WBGT reading occurs.
And that all just means that hot August days will require shorter practices and more breaks, which for athletes, provides less time for preparation.
Fortunately for Malone, his staff and the team, August has been reserved in dishing out her typical dog days.
Consequently these Dogs are using every safe minute they can to get ready for the season, but the alien stands sentry nearby.
Printed in the August 16, 2012 edition