High school football preseason practice kicked off today, and the district realignment among south plains teams is not the only change shaking things up.
Hoping to keep players safe from the heat this season, the UIL is making some major changes. It's limiting the amount of work that can be done in the heat. Two-a-days, for instance, will not be allowed on consecutive days. It is a log for coaches and administrators to keep up with, but it looks like they are rolling with the punches.
"We are not doing anything differently as far as teaching and football," Frenship's Athletic Director Brad Davis said, "we just put all of the football in the morning and all of the teaching in the afternoon."
"We are just going to make it a positive out of it," said Kent Jackson, Coronado's head football coach. "You know, it gives us more meeting time, it gives us more time to get our lifts in and those kinds of things before we actually come out on the field."
Jackson said he thinks the new rules will also lessen the strain put on players' bodies.
"I think it does. you know there is no doubt it is a safety concern," Jackson said. "And I think anything we can do to improve that is a positive thing."
The UIL is also addressing the dangers of concussions. Davis said players don't always tell someone if they get hit, so it is up to the staff to be aware of what is going on.
"You know, we have all been educated on the signs and symptoms of these things," Davis said. "We have gone to a two-hour class to better educate ourselves. And our trainers, of course, have always done a great job of recognizing the signs of a concussion. You can tell by looking in their eyes and doing some tests."
Both men say they are not worried about the changes slowing down the momentum of their teams.
"You know, it's like we tell our kids every day. The most dangerous thing any of us do is get in a car every day, but I'm not going to quit driving either," Jackson said. "You know, we are going to go and understand and respect the rules, and do our best to be safe with what we do and train our kids as best we can."
"They are fired up and ready, they've been chomping at the bit to get started, and they are excited," Davis said. "They had a good first day, and we are looking forward to tomorrow, and we had all of our varsity kids show up and they are excited for the season."
These changes also coming shortly after some district realignment. Coronado is going into this season as Lubbock's lone 5-A team, while Frenship prepares to play Monterey and Lubbock High.