News Democrat

Practices get underway for fall sports

The Western Brown Broncos camped overnight at LaRosa’s Field on July 31 to be among the first high school football teams to hit the gridiron for the first day of high school football practices in Ohio.

Local high school football teams preparing for 2017 gridiron campaigns – 

By Wade Linville – 

Practices for high school fall sports got underway this past week as the start to a new school year draws near. Football practices in Ohio kicked off Monday, July 31 for high school teams, while practices for other fall sports began on Tuesday, Aug. 1.
The Western Brown Broncos kicked off their first day of practice a bit differently this year, hitting the gridiron at 12:01 a.m. to be among the first high school teams in Ohio to start practice with what they called “Midnight Madness.”
After the practice that began at 12:01 a.m. on July 31, the Bronco players then camped out in tents at Kibler Stadium/LaRosa’s Field on the Western Brown campus and around 9 a.m. they were back at it, finishing their two-a-day for the first day of practice.
Just prior to their first day of practice, the Southern Buckeye Warriors ventured to Manchester High School to compete against Adams County teams in a seven-on-seven scrimmage on Saturday, July 29.
The Warriors would take on teams from Manchester, West Union, Peebles, and North Adams.
No score was kept in the seven-on-seven bouts, but at the end of the day the Warriors were able to outscore teams of Manchester, West Union, and Peebles while tying North Adams in a scoreless battle.
“I was happy with it, and it was a lot of fun,” Southern Buckeye head coach Chris Tomlin said of his team’s performance on Saturday. “The boys did very good at the skills positions and the linemen did good at their positions. I was very happy with the cornerbacks and linebackers. No one kept score but we went 3-0 and tied North Adams. It was a good day.”
In his first ever performance at the quarterback position, senior Alex Bateman would come out a bit stiff while facing Manchester in the first scrimmage of the day but would quickly loosen up after delivering a touchdown pass down the middle of the field to sophomore Dylan Lainhart against the home standing Greyhounds.
Lainhart would make an excellent read to find an opening in the Greyhound defense and hauling in the touchdown pass from Bateman.
“I’m excited about Dylan this season,” Tomlin said of the skilled sophomore.
The Warriors are preparing for more scrimmages as the official season opener moves closer, and the Southern Buckeye varsity team has much to improve on before their new season kicks off, according to Tomlin.
While Bateman made huge strides toward improvement during Saturday’s seven-on-seven at Manchester, Tomlin said they still have a long way to go at the quarterback position. With additional experience, more confidence will come for Bateman in his first year as quarterback, and some full-contact scrimmages will certainly help to prepare him for his varsity QB debut.
Tomlin also felt his receivers need to improve on their catching skills, and the safeties need work on their positioning in certain situations.
A bit more physical conditioning on the offensive line is also needed before the start of the fall season, according to Tomlin.
The SB Warriors will open their 2017 fall football campaign on Aug. 25 with an away game against Peebles, kicking off the program’s second season of varsity football.
“We’re all excited – the coaches, parents, and players,” Tomlin said of the upcoming season.
With fall sports practices now underway, schools are reminded of OHSAA heat regulations and the practice guidelines specific to football contact.
Please visit the specific sport pages at for preseason manuals, news releases, regulations, bulletins, tournament information and state tournament coverage.

OHSAA Fall Sports – Date that Regular-Season Contests May Begin
Cross Country – Aug. 21 (OHSAA Preseason Invitational at National Trail is Aug. 19)

Field Hockey – Aug. 19

Football – Aug. 21 (first Friday is Aug. 25)

Golf – Aug. 4

Soccer – Aug. 18 (OHSAA Friday Night Futbol)

Tennis (Girls) – Aug. 11

Volleyball – Aug. 19

Football Season and Playoff Notes
Associated Press Weekly Polls begin September 11.
Associated Press Weekly Notebooks begin September 13
Weekly Computer Ratings: begin September 19
Regular-Season Ends Saturday, Oct. 28. Final computer points and playoff qualifiers posted Sunday, Oct. 29

Football Notes and Practice Guidelines
Of the OHSAA’s 822 member high schools, 719 sponsor football teams. A total of 224 will qualify for the playoffs – 32 in each of seven divisions. The regular-season ends on Saturday, Oct. 28, with final computer ratings posted Sunday, Oct. 29.
Acclimatization Period: A five-day acclimatization period is mandatory prior to any contact drills. Only helmets are permitted on the first and second days of practice. Shoulder pads may be added on days three and four. Full pads may be worn on the fifth day. Full contact is permitted on the sixth day.
Contact Regulations: The following regulations apply to individual student/athletes. Position groups, etc., can alternate contact to adhere to the regulations listed below. Also, contact with soft equipment such as bags, shields, sleds, etc., does not count toward contact limitations.
Full Contact Limited During Two-A-Day Practices: When more than one practice takes place in a day, full contact is permitted only during one of the practices. With the importance of recovery time to help minimize concussion risks, consideration should also be given to the timing of full contact during the next day (i.e. if full contact occurs during session 2 of two-a-days, there should not be full contact in session 1 of two-a-days the following day).
Practice During the Season (after the first regular‐season game):
1. Consider limiting full-contact on consecutive days.
2. A student/athlete is limited to 30 minutes of full contact in practice per day.
3. A student/athlete is limited to 60 minutes of full contact in practice per week.
4. A student/athlete can be involved in full contact in a maximum of two practices in a seven-day span.

OHSAA Friday Night Futbol
Once again this fall, the OHSAA is promoting a soccer initiative called “Friday Night Futbol.” High school football does not begin until the following week and the OHSAA encourages schools will make the “first Friday night” of the fall sports season and the 2017-18 school year a dedication to high school soccer. Halftime is permitted to be extended to 15 minutes so that high school bands can unveil their new halftime performances. Additional information was sent to schools this past spring and more will be forthcoming – including a great partnership with the Columbus Crew SC that will provide incentives to schools participating. There is no charge and no application – just an effort to promote one of the continually growing sports in the state.

Emergency Action Plans: The Most Important Page in the Playbook
The OHSAA has sent each member school with a copy of the outstanding Emergency Action Plan, “Anyone Can Save a Life,” a first-of-its kind program for after school practices and events. This program has been made available to all schools in the United States through a generous grant from the Medtronic Foundation with distribution funded by the National Federation of State Associations (NFHS) Foundation. The Anyone Can Save A Life training DVD and website – – along with the guide’s implementation instructions, handouts and forms have been prepared to help train coaches, advisors, students and event staff. In addition, there is an array of resources that cover all aspects of preparing and managing an effective emergency response program.

Reminders for All Schools, Coaches and Student-Athletes
All student-athletes must have a pre-participation physical:
All coaches, paid and volunteer, must be certified by the ODE:
Mandatory preseason parent meetings information:
See the respective sport pages at online rules meetings, OHSAA sport regulations, OHSAA general sports regulations, preseason coaches manuals, etc.

Coach No-Contact Period
The month of August is a no-contact period for coaches in the sports of basketball, softball, baseball, ice hockey and lacrosse.

OHSAA Inclement Weather Policy and Heat Illness Information
With the start of fall sports, schools are reminded to know the OHSAA’s inclement weather policy, which states that all outdoor activity must be halted for 30 minutes if lightning is seen or thunder is heard. Check out the complete policy at:
In addition, the OHSAA has information posted to prevent heat illness. Resources are posted at:

OHSAA Heat Illness Policy
This procedure is to be used until such time as the temperature is below 84 degrees as no combination of heat and humidity at that level will result in a need to curtail activity.
1. Thirty minutes prior to the start of activity, temperature and humidity readings should be taken at the site.
2. The temperature and humidity should be factored into the Heat Index Calculation and Chart and a determination made as to the Heat Index. If schools are utilizing a digital sling psychrometer that calculates the Heat Index, that number may be used to apply to the table.
3. If a reading is determined whereby activity is to be decreased (above 95 degrees Heat Index), then re-readings would be required every thirty minutes to determine if further activity should be eliminated or preventative steps taken, or if an increased level of activity can resume.
4. Using the following table, activity should be altered and/or eliminated based on this Heat Index as determined:

Under 95 degrees Heat Index—
• Optional water breaks every 30 minutes for 10 minutes in duration to allow hydration as a group.
• Have towels with ice for cooling of athletes as needed.
• Watch/monitor athletes carefully for necessary action.
• Re-check temperature and humidity every 30 minutes if temperature rises in order to monitor for increased Heat Index.

95 degrees to 99 degrees Heat Index—
• Water shall always be available and athletes shall be able to take in as much water as they desire.
• Mandatory water breaks every 30 minutes for 10 minutes in duration to allow for hydration as a group.
• Have towels with ice for cooling of athletes as needed.
• Watch/monitor athletes carefully for necessary action.
• Helmets and other equipment should be removed when athlete not directly involved with competition, drill or practice and it is not otherwise required by rule.
Notes: Reduce time of outside activity. Consider postponing practice to later in the day. Re-check temperature and humidity every 30 minutes to monitor for increased Heat Index.

100 degrees (above 99 degrees) to 104 degrees Heat Index—
• Water shall always be available and athletes shall be able to take in as much water as they desire.
• Mandatory water breaks every 30 minutes for 10 minutes in duration to allow hydration as a group.
• Have towels with ice for cooling of athletes as needed.
• Watch/monitor athletes carefully for necessary action.
• Alter uniform by removing items if possible and permissible by rules.
• Allow athletes to change to dry shirts and shorts at defined intervals.
• Reduce time of outside activity as well as indoor activity if air conditioning is unavailable.
• Postpone practice to later in day.
• If helmets or other protective requirement are required to be worn by rule or normal practice, suspend practice or competition immediately.
Note: Re-check temperature and humidity every 30 minutes to monitor for changes in Heat Index.

Above 104 degrees Heat Index—
• Stop all outside activity in practice and/or play, and stop all inside activity if air conditioning is unavailable.