More water breaks and cool towels: South sports adapt to hot August temps

Jack Crystal, Staff Writer

       Many parts of the US have been experiencing record high temperatures in August and this has been affecting athletic practices in high schools around the country. Heat waves in the past month have been detrimental to high school sport practices and the health of student athletes. 

       In similar late summer temperatures, Imani Bell, a student who went to Elite Scholar Academy in Atlanta, Georgia,  passed away due to a heat stroke while practicing basketball drills while there was a 103 degree heat index. 

        Drake Geiger, a 16 year old Omaha South High School football player also died due to heat exposure on the tenth of August during his first day of football practice. Similar August weather has been occurring on days of sports practices in Bloomington.

      Bloomington High School South’s boys soccer coach decided to make a few adjustments to their practices due to the heat. “Practices are also divided up into 15 minute increments with 3 minute breaks for shade and water.” said boys soccer coach Kevin Sparks. Kevin is working to make safer sport practices shortening them and having more water breaks for the athletes so they aren’t dehydrated. Sparks made a rule that in case a student didn’t have enough water he would be sent home. Coaches cannot give their players water because of COVID so sending them home is the only option. On some of the hottest days the soccer team sits inside watching films and studying the game so that they aren’t in the bad weather.

“Even when it was on the hotter side our coach made us do mandatory water breaks every 10-15 minutes. We didn’t give 100 percent in these practices, if we had to sit out we could, we sat in the shade when we needed breaks,” said Josh Lindauer who is on the soccer team. Josh isn’t concerned about these practices being unsafe because he knows that the more strenuous practices are done in moderation and are never on the very hot days.

For the girls varsity soccer game on August 28th, they took time off the clock because of the heat and they gave more water breaks than usual because of the heat. The girls soccer team has had very similar restrictions when there are heat advisories. These heat advisories may take a toll on the games but it is for good reason.

     The heat was also affecting South football practices. “Some days, instead of wearing full pads we would wear just or helmets and we would take five to 10- minute water breaks with and when it was around 100 degree weather we would use cold towels to cool off,” said senior Dasan McCullough, who is an outside linebacker. The implementation of these extra breaks are making football practices much safer for athletes to stay safe and hydrated.