With Metro Nashville Public Schools shifting to a balanced calendar this year, there are concerns among coaches about how preseason football practice will be affected.
Last year, Metro football teams had 10 days between the time practice in pads began (Aug. 1) and the first day of school (Aug. 11).
This year, high school teams statewide can take the field in pads on Monday, and Metro schools start on Wednesday.
The change was made to try and improve academic performance by providing more breaks during the school year.
Maplewood coach Arcentae Broome said two-a-days will take the largest hit.
“Some kids you really want to take a good look at in pads, you have a short window,” said Broome, whose team made it to last year’s Class 4A final before losing to Greeneville.
“Being able to start (school) a little bit later would have helped.”
Broome said it would boil down to maximizing the time they have after school.
“We’ll try to get as much work as we can in pads,” he said.
Most schools play their first game on Aug. 17.
Overton coach Terry Anderson isn’t very happy with the situation either. He said the Bobcats had to change what they did without pads.
Anderson said Overton had two-a-days this past week, but “there are a lot of things we can’t get done in shorts.”
“It basically leaves us no room for error,” Anderson said.
Metro athletics director Roosevelt Sanders said one benefit would be that it will minimize the time players are out in the extreme heat.
“The district does a great job of collaborating and talking and coming up with every possible scenario,” Sanders said. “Most times there is some give and take on both ends. Two-a-days … is something that will be affected. I think coaches will be able to maneuver around that.”