Hottest day of the year: How football, band kids are staying safe

Local News

LAWRENCE COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – Thursday is the hottest day of the year, however, despite the heat dedicated students are preparing for their fall season of sports and activities.

“We are taking extra water breaks,” said Jason Lucas, head football coach at Dawson-Bryant High School. “For a lot of our conditioning stuff we will take our helmets off, sometimes take the shoulder pads off too to accommodate the heat.”

Students at Dawson-Bryant High School are finding ways to safely continue their outdoor activities.

“Drink a lot of Gatorade and stuff like that before and after practice,” said Dawson-Bryant High School quarterback, Clay Ferguson.

When it comes to training, coaches and instructors said the heat impacts the students’ performances.

“The heat changes everything,” said Lucas. “It takes everyone’s energy away. We’ve got to make sure that they are used to that going into the season, so they get used to hydrating themselves and taking care of their bodies. That way they can perform at the highest level.”

Students said while practicing in the heat isn’t always the most enjoyable experience, it helps them to be better prepared.

“It’s just harder to concentrate,” said Ferguson. “You’re so worried about how hot it is outside you can’t really think that much. Practicing in the heat now makes it a lot easier come game time.”

However, some students see the heat as a motivator and the sweat as proof of their hard work.

“It makes me more determined to do it,” said senior marching band member at Dawson-Bryant High School, Sarah Hunt. “You just got to drink water and you’ve got to stay focused on what you are doing here so that you can accomplish what you want to accomplish when the season starts,” said Sarah Hunt, Dawson-Bryant High School marching band member.

The instructors and coaches conducting practice said they make sure to take precautions so that the students can perform safely.

“We take lots of breaks,” said Dawson-Bryant High School’s Tom Zerkle. “We keep water and Gatorade on hand and try to keep them hydrated. We have a rule that when we take a break, take two drinks of something at least and then be ready to sit down in the shade for a few minutes and cool off.”

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