MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Scorching hot temperatures were to blame for delaying many Friday night football games across the Mid-South.

An excessive heat warning across the Mid-South delayed the game between Central High School and Senatobia High School for 30 minutes, moving kickoff to 7:30 like many games across the region.

“The irony is you’re told to protect them all week and when it hits a 104 on Friday night you put them out there on the field and play a full game,” said Central High coach Major Wright.

Wright says a big part of training is getting players acclimated to extreme temperatures.

“Unfortunately you can warm up if it’s above 104 and start the contest when it hits 104,” Wright said. “Well, I don’t know if 104 is much better than 105, so it’s certainly scary when you start a game and it’s that hot.”

At one point today he says the heat index reached 110 degrees. To keep everyone safe, both teams loaded up on water and ice buckets. The referees also built in extra breaks and fans were placed along the sideline.

“I think the whole heat index thing needs to be rethought,” Wright said. “If it’s going to continue the way it is then we don’t need to play.”

The school also has measures in place to keep other students like band members hydrated and healthy.

“At half time they have a snack and a drink,” said Melody Broy, a Central High parent. “They have warm weather gear and cold weather gear, so tonight they have on short-sleeved t-shirts and joggers.” 

Friday, Memphis Shelby County Schools announced classes at Central were canceled due to a broken AC unit.

“I was concerned about the AC because they just had repairs done, but I was happy they were concerned about our children’s wellbeing,” Broy said.

At least one game was canceled Friday. Harding Academy called off its game due to the heat. MSCS says a crew is still working on the AC unit at Central. They plan to update parents over the weekend.