Heat scorches fall sports schedules

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Fall sports at OHS have hit a snag this week as the temperature climbs to unusual heights.

The tail end of August has brought the most brutal humidity the area has seen in weeks, causing trouble for the athletic department. In accordance with the Missouri State High School Activities Association policy, students are not allowed to play outdoor sports if the heat index exceeds 105 degrees. Painfully high temperatures have left the district no choice but to cancel practices and reschedule games, much to the chagrin of players and fans.

Nearly all outdoor fall sports programs have been affected by the heat. The girls’ tennis team was forced to cancel its first home match of the season on Tuesday, Aug. 26, while the softball team postponed two games due to the heat. The girls field hockey team also had to reschedule its first game, from Monday, Aug. 25 to sometime in September.

Even Friday night football is not immune to the weather; for the varsity football team’s first game at Parkway South (Aug. 22), the game’s start time was pushed back in order to accommodate for the heat and ensure the safety of the players in their heavy padding.

“It’s been a detriment,” admits tennis coach Bill Ebert. “It has pushed back our progress, and it’s frustrating, but we just have to get out there and play whenever we can.”

With humidity and rain, upcoming weather is unpredictable, and it is unclear when the fall sports will be able to resume their normal schedule times without worry of last-minute cancellation.