Tonight, Graham-Kapowsin High School plays its third Thursday football game in a row.
That is one week more than Kentlake, which travels to Auburn for back-to-back Thursday games.
A couple weeks ago, Federal Way finished up two consecutive weeks of Thursday games – against Emerald Ridge and Graham-Kapowsin.
It is the way of the South Sound these days. With multi-school districts sharing one stadium, it means creative scheduling – and sometimes an unfair end result.
“I think it is horrible,” Graham-Kapowsin coach Eric Kurle said. “We don’t get home until 11:30. and they (the players) are expected to be at school the next day. They are beat up,. They are tired. And you cannot practice Friday, so it is a real tough situation.”
Kurle then detailed what a typical week is for the untypical Thursday night game.
Usually the team has Friday off, then returns Monday – which is also the day the junior varsity team has its game.
The cycle then repeats itself for those reserves – they return Tuesday sore and beat up. But because the varsity has one less day to prepare, Kurle says he needs those second- and third-stringers to pad up and run scout-team work.
“In that situation, we have to do our live hitting Tuesdays,” Kurle said.
Even though by Wednesday, when the team returns to relatively normal health, he still limits the amount of practice repetitions his varsity players get a day before a game.
“We cut down on plays to do in live periods – five or six plays per period – and then we come back to it,” Kurle said. “We run our practices like a game, so they get 5-6 live plays instead of 20.
“It limits our timing.”
Kurle is just one example sharing a common frustration – fewer Friday night experiences. Most coaches would be more in favor of playing a Friday night doubleheader than having a spate of weekday games.
“We are all very routine-oriented,” Federal Way coach John Meagher said. “I wish all the games were on Friday night. I do not like Thursday games, and I hate Saturdays.”