OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska high school football teams start practice next week.
However, for Creighton Prep and 11 other schools that will be opening the season in Week Zero rather than Week One, practice started this past Monday.
"Our guys are excited to get out here—there's high expectations for this football team,” Creighton Prep Football Coach Tim Johnk said. “So, just getting back out here, getting together again as a full squad, is really exciting.”
While they're thrilled to get a head start, they’re also taking extra precautions with the dangerous heat in the metro this week.
"We're starting early and we're getting done before noon with everything. We've got a full two-hour workout and we're going to give them a break and get them off their feet,” Johnk said. “They have the freedom to go get water at all times. We're giving them full five-minute water breaks, getting them out of their helmet, and try to find as much shade as we can."
The team starts practice every morning this week at 7 a.m. to avoid the hottest temperatures of the day, and are using a few hours for team meetings in the air conditioning each day as well.
Creighton Prep won’t go full pads until Friday.
Johnk says the off-season work his team has put in makes it easier to prepare for Week Zero even though every day will be above average temperatures.
"Our attendance in the summer is fantastic. Our guys understand why they need to be here,” Johnk said. “When we get to fall camp here, we will condition them a little bit, but not nearly as much as we've needed to do in the past. And a lot of that has to do with the weather."
Creighton Prep will be taking on another metro school, Bellevue West, in that Week Zero matchup on August 19.
Below are all of the week zero matchups:
- North Platte St. Patrick's at Bridgeport
- Bellevue West at Creighton Preparatory School
- Columbus at Fremont
- North Platte at Papillion-LaVista South
- Summerland at Riverside
- Alma at Superior