Weather Threat Forces Teams Indoors


High School football is underway in KELOLAND but for some area teams day one already brought a new game plan.

The Sioux Falls Washington football team is used to switching up their playing field. 

“It’s a luxury. It’s just nice to have this facility,” head coach Chad Stadem said. 

Practicing indoors at the Avera Sports Dome allows Stadem to keep his team on the field.

“Just getting to practice, getting the routine, and that’s the biggest thing just getting the rhythm and get the kids accustomed to what we want to be doing. We have an install plan and we want to get through these things before we start practicing for our game,” Stadem said. 

The threat of bad weather can hinder practicing outdoors during a time when Stadem says his team can’t afford to miss a beat. 

“But right now, it just gets us a practice. We’ve got just day one of practice and we can’t miss one,” Stadem said.

Weather can also cause safety concerns which is why Washington may find itself practicing on Avera’s turf.

“We look for safety reasons. Like if it would’ve been way too warm we maybe would’ve seen if we could get in here because it’s a little more air conditioned in here. The lightning, of course,” Stadem said. 

Practicing inside not only protects the players and the coaches form the elements but it also protects the field from being torn up.

“Last year we had a bunch of rain, a lot of rain, the week before our first game and we didn’t want to tear up our field because it was really wet and muddy and so we got in here and we practiced for a few days in here and it just saved the wear and tear of our field,” Stadem said. 

Adjusting to the indoor atmosphere also has led to bigger things for the state AA champs.  

“And then preparing for the Dome for the State Championship game. We spent the whole week in here preparing for that. It acclimates our kids in terms of the Dome last year,” Stadem said. 

So moving indoors might actually pay off in the long run.

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