Practicing in 73-degree weather has its perks in mid-August. But what about September?
When it stops raining.
A decade ago, a 2008 August heatwave forced some high school teams to curtail their workouts. Some practiced early, others worked indoors.
Ten years later, it won't stop raining. August usually produces a little less than four inches of rain, on average, in Hackett.
According to weather.com, Hackett had received 4.26 inches of rain as of Aug. 14. That doesn't include the heavy rain that drenched the Sebastian County town all day Wednesday.
"We moved practice into our Indoor Practice Facility, AKA, the Old Gym, yesterday," Hackett coach Lonnie Hester said Wednesday. "It not ideal, but I just felt like it was better than the alternative."
The Hornets were among a throng of Arkansas schools who signed on to play on zero week, which is a week from today.
Hackett will host Mansfield Aug. 23.
"We are always concerned about the heat in August, but now we are worried that we won’t be acclimated for games if we get our usual (September) heat," Hester said.
Hackett's overall number are down this season, Hester said. "With the addition of Hartford campus, we though it might change, but numbers are a lot lower for us," he said. "We’ve been fortunate to have 3A numbers in 2A. But this year it’s not the case.
"We are looking at the mid-20s — about 10 down from usual."
Clarksville coach Khris Buckner is ready for the ball to bounce his way.
"Even when we were playing well, we couldn't get things to go our way, but we were really young," Buckner said. "We're still going to do what we do. Hopefully, we can move the ball and keep everybody off balance.
"I think our offensive run is tried and true."
Buckner is excited about his running game, paced by quarterback Nicholas Buckner. The Panthers also welcome back Jamie White and Xavier Holland.
But the coach is also pumped about the two bulldozers on his offensive line — Michael Powell (6-foot-4, 307 pounds) and Joseph Ayers.
"Our two tackles are as good as anybody around here," Khris Buckner said. Powell won the 5A state shot put crown last spring, and was fourth overall at the Meet of Champs.
Despite battling the rain, Buckner was happy for the start of school.
"School starting and getting on a routine, that's a good thing," he said.
Buckner said the Panthers had 55 players at the start of fall camp.
"It's not the greatest, but we have a small sophomore class and a big freshman class," he said. "The freshman class is a really good class. They won two games in the seventh grade, and after we switched to the single wing, they won nine games the following season."
Led by all-state quarterback Dawson Dietz, the Ozark Hillbillies have a ton of fire-power heading into the 2018 season. They won't have to wait long, either, to see how to match up with some the elite teams in the area.
Ozark opens with Booneville, Clarksville and Charleston. All three teams have potent offenses.
"The coaches have really been pushing us hard these last two weeks," Dietz said. "We've been pushing each other with the first and second teams. We're getting ready to go."
The Hillbillies open the season Aug. 31 against Booneville.
"That's a big rivalry for us, especially with them being a good football team," Dietz said. "That's going to be a good test coming out of the gate — that will tell us where we're at. Then we back that up a few weeks later with Charleston."
Rain has been an issue for Golden Arrows' coach Brian Schlinker as well. Like Hackett, the Golden Arrows rely on dry, natural settings to practice on.
"(In) 17 years I've never seen rain like this in August," he said. "We don't have an indoor (facility), but rain hasn't slowed us down. We had our best, most physical practice on Tuesday in the rain and mud."
Schlinker said senior noseguard Jake Noble has had a solid 2½ weeks of fall camp.
Noble is also playing some H-back.
"Jake has an incredible motor," Schlinker said. "Creek Harp has been explosive on the defensive line."
The Bearcats, who open the season a week from Friday at Clarksville, have also been affected by the recent rains. Heavy rain forced coach Scott Hyatt to have today's scrimmage.
The Bearcats announced early Wednesday that today's scheduled scrimmage with Dardanelle has been moved to Russellville High School. The Cyclones have turf.
Booneville's junior high and senior high squads will scrimmage at 6 and 7 p.m., respectively.
First-year Paris football coach Tyler Clark announced Wednesday that the Eagles would scrimmage Johnson County Westside and Subiaco Academy today at Clarksville High School.
The three teams had initially planned to scrimmage Tuesday at Paris High School.
But two days of heavy rain cancelled Tuesday's scrimmage, and when the rain didn't let up by Wednesday, Clark sought to move the scrimmage.