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STAFF PHOTO/JOHN LUND The Tunkhannock Area varsity team lines up for a play on Tuesday morning as part of heat acclimation practice.

Hard to believe, but it is that time again. When even the coaches start saying they can’t believe it is here already, you know time is flying by.

Monday marked the start of heat week for football teams across the state.

The week where teams are afforded the opportunity to basically do what they have been doing all summer long, only this time it is official — and mandatory.

Football is the only fall sport in which teams have the chance to get acclimated to the heat.

Official practice for all fall sports gets underway next Monday, Aug. 14.

Essentially, football teams get an extra week of practice before the regular season begins.

Talking football

The Wyoming Valley Conference football coaches held their annual media day on Sunday afternoon at Valley West High School.

Every school in the conference was represented by coaches and select players, and it was an opportunity for the coaches to get together and talk football.

Second time through

This marks the second year that teams will only have one week of double sessions as well as just one scrimmage before jumping into the regular season.

It was an adjustment for coaches and players last year, when teams had the option of having one scrimmage and a 10-game regular season, or two weeks of double sessions and two scrimmages.

Teams in District 2 elected for the one scrimmage and a 10-game regular season. What that means, once again, is that when the season kicks off Aug. 25, it will technically be considered Week Zero.

Losing the second scrimmage took a little bit of adjustment time.

That was the scrimmage where coaches had the opportunity to evaluate depth, make a few tweaks here and there and head into the season.

The lack of a second scrimmage takes away the evaluation of players on the bubble, and in some instances altered the way the offseason programs were operated.

“Everybody is in the same boat without having the second scrimmage,” Tunkhannock Area head coach Jan Cechak said. “The first game is normally sloppy, we still had mistakes, but it was not as sloppy as I thought it was going to be (last year). The way the PIAA wants everything pushed up with getting more teams in the playoffs, it is good for everybody. But if I had more numbers, just like everybody else, it would be a whole lot harder trying to evaluate a lot more kids, and you don’t have the time to do that.”

Cechak went on to say that the Tunkhannock staff adjusted how they approached the offseason heading into this year.

“You are more time conscious,” Cechak said. “We worked out three days a week at night with the kids. We have all our installs in. Basically, right now the offense is installed and the defense is installed. Now we can just work on our techniques and tackling.”