Of course, dodging the heat hasn't always been the focus of some programs. Douglass coach Willis Alexander began practicing at 3 p.m., even before the district changed the school calendar.
“Our worst practice always used to be on the first day of school, because it took the kids some time to get adjusted to the heat,” he said. “So we started practicing at 3 p.m. anyway, and the kids have been able to adapt to it a lot quicker, and it has really helped us.”
Beyond the heat and its associated dangers, there aren't many negatives of the new calendar from the coaches' viewpoint.
Not only do the players get a week of conditioning after school, but it also gives coaches a week to get all physical exams done, pass out equipment, and complete any number of other menial tasks that would otherwise take time away from actual practices.
“You have your new kids show up on Aug. 1, and you can get them oriented into the program, let them adapt to the system, during that first week of school,” Troxell said. “You can have them get physicals and fill out the new student forms and all that.
“I don't see any negatives to the schedule. Going into year two, we understand everything that's going on. Our schedule will be set up better than it was going through it the first time. Football-wise, it's a win-win.”