I am excited that another football season is upon us. From the Friday night games in East Texas high school stadiums to the college games on Saturday and the professional teams playing for the Lombardi Trophy on Sundays, football is such a great sport to watch. For the first part of the season, however, a second opponent will be on the field for many teams, the intense heat. ISDs in Tyler and Rusk, Texas have decided that their Friday night games need to have a later start time so the heat isn't as intense for the players, the band and the spectators.

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Intense Summer Heat

There is no need to constantly comment on how hot it is in East Texas. We know it's hot just by stepping outside. Even for someone like me who loves the hot weather, this summer has been pretty brutal. Tyler's hottest day so far this summer was 109 degrees on August 20. For Longview, their hottest day was 108 degrees on August 19. As of this writing (August 23, 10:07 a.m.) Tyler has seen 33 days above 100 degrees, Longview has had 26 and Lufkin 37 (thank you Doc Deason).

I think the high on Friday is a good 104 degrees, so we try to push it back a little bit and make it easier on the kids, the coaches, the fans and the band. - Thomas Sitton, Rusk High School Head Football Coach via <a href="https://www.ketk.com/sports/friday-football-fever/2-east-texas-schools-move-back-first-football-games-of-season-due-to-heat/" target="_blank">KETK</a>

Later Start Time

For Tyler and Rusk ISD, they have decided to push back the start of their Friday night games to 8 p.m. By that time, the sun will have set allowing the temperature to not be above 100 degrees and also make field conditions a bit more tolerable. The fans enjoying the game will enjoy the reduced heat and not sitting in the direct sunlight for the game, too.

Other Game Start Times

For the most part, it seems most Friday night games will start at either 7 or 7:30. Don't be surprised to see some last minute announcements of delayed start times as we get closer to Friday. The heat has been dangerous this summer. This is just another way to keep the players safe while playing in this extreme weather.

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