Teams change practice routines to beat the heat

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 10:35 PM EDT
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POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Along with game planning for opponents, high school football teams are also taking extra steps to beat the heat this week.

At one of their last practices before their season opening kickoff, the Point Pleasant football team called an audible on their practice routine to deal with the sweltering heat.

On Tuesday, instead of wearing full pads, players practiced in helmets only, and they took frequent water breaks.

“We just push hydration, hydration, hydration,” Point Pleasant head coach David Darst said.

“On turf surfaces it’s going to be a lot hotter,” Point Pleasant team trainer Gabe Roush said. “Once it reaches 102 or 103 degrees, we start making modifications.”

“It’s always tough,” Point Pleasant senior running back and linebacker Brooks Pearson said. “Heat is always hard on you, but as long as we keep water pumping through us, we should be alright.”

The Point Pleasant Middle School football team had a scare Monday when a 7th grade player collapsed on the practice field from heat exhaustion.

The athletic director says the player was put in an ice bath and sent to the hospital as a precaution. He says he was fine Tuesday and able to go back to school.

“On hot practices, we always have a cold tub prepared ready for use in that case,” Roush said.

The team trainer says it’s a reminder of why having protocols for how to handle the uncomfortably high temperatures is so important.

“Fortunately with having athletic trainers here, we’re prepared for these types of situations,” Roush said. “That’s what we go to school for. That’s what we want to kind of preach across the state of West Virginia, that this is a scenario you want to be best prepared for.”

Spring Valley pushed their football practice back a couple hours Tuesday evening to avoid the worst of the heat.

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