08/05/08 — Area coaches making adjustments for hot weather

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Area coaches making adjustments for hot weather

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 5, 2008 1:43 PM

The first competitive snap is still weeks away.

But the heat is on.

High school football teams around the area are dealing with sweltering summer temperatures this week with an emphasis on extra caution and a premium on hydration.

"We are going to give the kids plenty of water breaks, more than usual," said first-year Spring Creek head coach Aaron Sanders. "Our policy is to build in several water breaks, and then if the kids feel like they need to stop and grab an additional drink they are free to do so."

With Monday's high in the mid-90s and today expected to be much of the same, each program must take a health-first approach.

"We have been spending as much time drinking water as we have actually practicing," said Southern Wayne head coach Bob Warren. "But it has just been so hot, and there isn't much else you can do."

State practice guidelines require that each team work out three days in just helmets, T-shirts and shorts. On the fourth day, teams can add shoulder pads. Full contact is allowed after the sixth practice.

"Today will be the first day in shoulder pads, so we will be scheduling one extra water break into practice," said Sanders. "Then once we go to full pads we will adjust our schedule again."

Moving workouts later into the evening has helped several area teams stay out of the midday sun. Warren points out, however, two hours does not make a significant impact.

"We go at 4:30 p.m., but it really doesn't matter what time you practice," said Warren. "We could practice at 6:30 p.m. but most days the difference is only about five degrees."

No matter how minuscule the temperature decrease, Sanders is willing to move practices until the sun goes down.

"At the end of the week, when we get to full pads, we will go later in the evening," said Sanders. "Anything we can do is worth it."

Teams will continue to practice in preparation for scrimmages, beginning next week. The regular season begins August 22.