AREA football coaches watching players because of the heat

Wednesday, August 8th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The heat saddling Oklahoma weighs on the padded shoulders of football players these days. KOTV’s Emory Bryan says many teams started "2 a day" practice sessions this week, the hardest training they'll do before the start of the start of the season.

It's always in the heat of the summer. The summer heat wave is rolling across the football fields of Oklahoma. With young, out of practice players - the workout can be brutal. Mikes Gaines, Tulsa Memorial Coach: "We're getting up early in the morning taking care of things, off the field by noon." The chargers at Tulsa Memorial are working hard - but staying as cool as they can - with a misting tent - plenty of cool water on the field - and a group of trainers constantly running water out to the players.

Anna Jeffers, Trainer: "When they're running they're hot they're sweaty, getting all that fluid out of them they're sweating, about every 5-10 minutes or so." The coaches keep watch for players with signs of heat stress. They're especially concerned about the first week of drills. As the players become conditioned to the heat and the game, things will improve. Ken Barton, Senior Running Back: "Today we've had two people who had to go to the side and bend over and we've kept an eye on them, but they got hydrated, stayed in the shade, cooled off, other than that we're doing pretty good."

Coach Gaines tells players to take frequent breaks - and leave the field for water when need it. This time of year, it's the only way to condition the players - and take care of them at the same time. “We're taking extra precautions, we've got a misting tent cold towels, water runs constantly, the kids know they can go get something to eat anytime they need it."

Coaches think the workout and the heat helps build strong players. After all if they can handle it now, the cool weather, especially late in the season, should be easy.