High school football teams taking precautions to keep players safe from heat

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It's back to school time for some students, and that also means that some student athletes, including high school football players, are returning to get ready for the upcoming season, back out on the field and in the heat.

One coach said us most of the kids are native to Arizona, so they're pretty used to the excessive heat. When it gets this hot, however, safety measures are put in place to keep the players safe. 

On Monday, water break after water break was on tap for high school players at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix.

"I drink a lot of water. The whole team does," said Kyle Boone. "We have the coaches constantly reminding us to hydrate before practice, during and after."

Players will go through about 3 of the 40-gallon coolers, filled with cold water.

"Some of us, we just like put water in our helmets, or we just pour water over us," said Boone.  

When temperatures climb as they did on Monday, Carl Hayden head coach Randy Gross says things are adjusted to keep the players safe. There's little to no conditioning outside, water breaks are taken every five minutes, players don't fully dress out, and practice times are adjusted. 

"This week, we're going at 6:00 p.m., just to really acclimate them to the heat, number one, so we're staying later for the first week and next week, we're going to go at 4:00 p.m.," said Gross.

A trainer will also stay through the practice, communicating with and checking in on the players. 

"Three years been doing this, and the temperature really hasn't changed much in three years, and we haven't had a single issue with dehydration yet, so we just go slow the first few weeks before we get into it," said Gross.

On Tuesday, the high temperatures is expected to be even higher. Gross says all of the same precautions will be taken.

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