(New Carlisle, IN) - One secret to New Prairie’s recent success on the gridiron has been making the most of practice time. Last week, in preparation for semi-state, the Cougars worked out at La Porte’s Kiwanis Field, which has field turf similar to Kokomo’s.
This week, the team practiced indoors at the Dunes Event Center in La Porte. Head Coach Casey McKim said matching practice to game conditions is key to peak performance. “Playing indoors obviously is just a much different type of environment,” he told HTNN. “You got some drier air, and it’s a warmer temperature. So it really makes you sweat a little bit more when you’re playing fast and going hard. It gives you more realistic a look of what it’s going to feel like when we’re in Lucas Oil on Friday.”
On Wednesday night the Cougars even got the chance to play at Notre Dame’s indoor football facility in South Bend. McKim said the practice on indoor field turf benefited his team, which is built for speed. “Really this Notre Dame practice was massive,” he said “because playing on turf allows you to really make good, hard cuts, more powerful cuts, and it’s going to be a lot more similar to what we’re going to see in the game.”
Assistant coach Bill Gumm leaned on connections at Notre Dame to arrange the indoor field time. Former New Prairie quarterback Chase Ketterer, who currently suits up for the Irish, was on hand at practice Wednesday night.
New Prairie (13-1) faces East Central (12-2) for the Class 4A Championship Friday afternoon at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis.