During the course of any given season, a team’s routine will sometimes need to be adjusted to fit a certain schedule.
For area high school teams, this week is full of adjustments, along with cramming.
With fall break comes the annual tradition of statewide Thursday night football games, which brings with it excitement, to go with plenty of headaches.
“As coaches, this week makes you feel like your rushed,” V-A coach Greg Gothard said. “Everything is moved up a day, so we have to adjust to that. We move away from the typical Monday practice and move on from there. But, at the same time our kids are able to adapt really well no matter when we play. The bottom line is change does some good sometimes. We’ve already played one Thursday night game this season, so we know what to expect.”
The good news for Velma-Alma though, is they have already played in one Thursday nighter this year, along with Comanche and Bray-Doyle.
But, out of those three teams, the Indians are the only team who own a 1-0 record on games held during a short week this season.
“We have pretty much the same routine we had in week 2 against Frederick’s JV,” B-D coach Don Padgett said. “Having a short week doesn’t affect the kids as much as people think. Our kids are feeling pretty confident because of how well they played last time on a Thursday night.”
Padgett added after coaching for 12 years in the Dallas-Metroplex, Thursday night games are something he’s grown accustomed to.
“When you are in an area where several teams share a stadium, then Thursday games are very common,” he said. “These games didn’t exist when I was coaching at Velma, but they don’t really bother me that much after being in Texas.”
Bray-Doyle has lost its last two Thursday night contests, including this year. Ringling handed the Donkeys a 62-6 defeat in 2011 during the fall break week games.
For teams like Empire, who haven’t played with a shortened week, these kinds of games bring a sense of the unknown.
“Our kids really have no idea what to expect at practice because of the short week,” Empire coach Tony Roberts said. “We do have to cut out some important stuff, especially on the special teams side of the ball. We’re settled in on what we want to do for the most part as a team.”
Roberts added he would be open to the possibility of playing an extra Thursday night game, provided it was early enough in the season.
“We wouldn’t mind giving it a try possibly down the line,” he said about an extra Thursday night contest. “It would certainly help our guys adjust a little better than just doing it one time a year.”
Last season brought good fortune for the Bulldogs on Thursday night, as they claimed a 27-20 victory over Waurika.