Heat wave forces coaches to take extra precautions

Published 6:07 am Monday, August 13, 2007

By Staff
With much of Alabama and the entire southeast baking in record heat, area coaches are taking extra precautions with their athletes.
Both Hathcock and T.R. Miller football coach Jamie Riggs began the first week of official practice with 5 p.m. workouts, but both moved to mid-afternoon practices when school began Thursday. T.R. Miller began its Friday practice at 2:30 p.m., while W.S. Neal kicked off its work just minutes later at 2:45 p.m.
While football practice continues a business as usual approach at T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal, that has not been the case everywhere. The Escambia County, Fla. school system suspended all school outdoor activities this past week until the temperatures moderate. That action came after two Tate High School football players were hospitalized for dehydration. That action has temporarily shifted football practice indoors.
Schools in six Mississippi counties were temporarily ordered by a local judge to cease outdoor practices until temperatures fall after a Mount Olive High School football player collapsed and died of a heat stroke Wednesday. The Mississippi Supreme Court overturned that ruling Friday.
Riggs said he has taken breaks about every 25 to 30 minutes during practice for fluids.
Hathcock said his players have been given fluid breaks about every 15 to 25 minutes.
in,” said Hathcock.
Riggs emphasizes players to take in as much fluid as they can during the day.
Hathcock also emphasizes a lot of fluid and normal food intake during the day.
University of North Carolina exercise and sports science professor Fred Mueller indicated through national research five football players from age 11 to 17 died last year due to heat-related issues. Seven more died last year from heart issues that may or may not have been related to heat.
Riggs said common sense is one of the best safety precautions.

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