Football programs battle extreme heat as they prepare for season

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 7:42 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Athletic Association said if the heat index is at 105 degrees all athletic teams are not allowed to workout or practice outside because of the heat conditions.

Cache High School Athletic Director Lisa O’Kelley and Head Football Coach Faron Griffin have some thoughts about the increasing heat wave across the state.

“It’s hotter than its ever been probably for these young kiddos. So, some big precautions need to be taken by us to ensure obviously their safety. But, also to let their parents and the kids know we got them. We’re going to take care of them”, said O’Kelley.

“This is something we have to deal with in Oklahoma each and every year. You know, I’ve been coaching for 30 years, so it’s something that we continually combated. You know we have guidelines that we follow and we also, as coaches, kind of use our common sense so that we can keep our athletes safe that’s almost important,” said Griffin.

O’Kelley wants the student athletes to know she has their back and knows what needs to be done.

“Well, I think it can crucially affect the athletes if we don’t do what we need to do. Number one, we need to help them to know that we’re going to take care of them, so they can give their full effort and we’re going to take care of them. So, it can unless we help them. So we’ve got to provide water continuously. We’ve got to provide confidence that we’re going to do the best for them, and we’re not going to let them let them suffer in the heat. Of course, athletics comes with a little suffering, but it shouldn’t be from this,” said O’Kelly.

From a coaching perspective, Griffin is getting his team prepared for the tough days ahead.

“The acclimation to the heat is what we’re we’re looking, and that’s what these three weeks are for is to get these kids acclimated to the heat. So that when they put the pads on when football season gets here, they’re acclimated to that heat. So, they’re conditioned to it”, said Griffin.

O’Kelley and all her coaches are on same page using common sense and keeping their athletes hydrated.

“Our sports had gone in different shifts, so they’re not long workouts. I know our cross country they start as early as, I don’t know, 5:30 a.m. and that’s a lot cooler. And so, they end before the heat starts, but I know that football wise and softball wise I think we’re going in shifts. So, it’s smaller workouts. Plenty of water, continuous water, every 10 minutes. I think the football team says they’re taking breaks every 10 minutes from drills. So, doing some specific things that would ensure that they’re not overheated, and that they get continuous water all the time,” said O’Kelly.

Hopefully the heat will cool down in time for cold Friday night lights. Remember to hydrate by drinking a gallon of water a day.

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