The official start of high school football practice is Aug. 12, but many teams from the WPIAL and around the state will be getting an early start.
As part of the PIAA’s new heat acclimatization policy, teams must go through a three-day period that essentially allows players to adjust to the heat before undergoing the rigors of training camp.
Many WPIAL teams will take care of that acclimatization this week before camp begins, rather than start next Monday and cut into practice time.
During the heat acclimatization period, players are permitted to wear helmets and shoulder pads the first two days and full equipment the third day. Contact is not permitted until the third day. Also, practices can only last three hours at the most and must be followed by a two-hour break. Teams also can only practice a maximum of five hours per day.
New coach at AG
Albert Gallatin will open football camp Monday with a new head coach. Joe Embacher, who coached the team’s wide receivers and defensive backs last season and spent 18 years as the middle school coach, has replaced Jeff Rush as the varsity head coach. Athletic director Duane Dupont said he could not comment on why Rush was replaced because it is a personnel matter.
Rush coached the Colonials for three seasons, posting a 1-26 record in that span.
Embacher will be one of 26 new head coaches in the WPIAL when camp opens Monday.