High School football teams prepare to play in heat

By: Brandon Lewis Email
By: Brandon Lewis Email

Football teams added water breaks during practice Thursday as they prepared to play games in hot weather Friday.

"We try to make sure the bottles are out on the field it just helps everyone. The more hydrated you are the harder you work," said Clay H.S. senior PJ Ellis.

Ellis and his teammates tried to run a productive full practice ahead of their game against Adams H.S. on Friday.

"They adapted well. I was really proud of the way they practiced today [Thursday] and quite frankly if that's what it takes for them to have a practice like this I hope it's 90 [degrees] all the time," said Coach Joe Szajko.

Workers continually filled the team's large water cooler with ice and fresh water while players ran out bottles of water every five to ten plays.

Ellis said the team practiced in hot weather during the summer, so they are still used to hot conditions.

"August just got over, it's not fall, it's not cold yet," said Ellis. "The weather's fine. It's the dust on the field that's tough. It's hard to breathe; you get it kicked in your eye and everything."

After practice Szajko encouraged players to drink plenty of water and hydrate themselves often until game time.

"The important thing is to start taking care of yourself the night before and that day during the day. If you don't drink anything during the day, in this weather sometimes it's tough because you get in an air conditioned school you don't feel thirsty, all of a sudden you get out here and it really affects you," said Szajko.

He also cautioned against over using sports drinks after practice because it can cause more problems during the game.

"If you're going to keep yourself from cramping up hydration starts now and one of the things we talk about is being smart. Tonight's not the night to drink a lot of Gatorade. Drink Gatorade after the practice so you recover and water thereafter. Drink too much Gatorade and you're going to lose water," said Szajko.

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