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Revised schedule is a big challenge

Remember Week 2 of the season, lost to Hurricane Frances?

It's now Monday night football.

Central plays at Lecanto and Springstead travels to Citrus on Monday, making up games lost 2{ weeks ago.

It's not a situation coaches are thrilled about, considering the quick turnaround from crucial district games Friday and the fact it will be three games in eight days, including the scheduled contests Oct. 8.

"It's going to be tough," Central coach John Wilkinson said. "It's that Monday one that really worries me."

Wilkinson has seen how such a close proximity of games can wear on kids, having been through a similar situation when he was an assistant coach at New Smyrna Beach.

The chance of injury is greater in that third game, which is not something the Bears can handle with two more district games (Groveland South Lake and Leesburg) on the schedule.

"By this point in time, though, we should be plenty conditioned," Wilkinson said.

Whether Central and Springstead will be plenty prepared for the Monday games is a bigger question.

Lecanto and Citrus are out-of-district games, nowhere near as important as Friday's contests with Clermont East Ridge and South Lake.

Springstead can take one step closer to a playoff berth with a home win over South Lake, so don't ask coach Bill Vonada about the Citrus game plan.

"It's not really going to be on our minds at all until Saturday," Vonada said. "As soon as that game got canceled (Sept. 10), those preparations went in a folder on the shelf."

The preparations will be unsheathed Saturday morning, when the players come in for a brief stretch and walk-through session. Then the coaches will spend the rest of the weekend planning.

Come Tuesday, Springstead will prepare for Crystal River on a short week and Central for River Ridge. Fortunately, neither of those are district games.

"We talked about that when rescheduling," Vonada said. "There was no way we'd want to make up a game Monday and then play a district game Friday."

"The upside is I know Crystal River is also making up a game (Monday, against South Lake), so we're both in the same position when you look at it that way."

_ JOHN SCHWARB and EMILY NIPPS,

Times staff writers

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