Cannon County football players started gearing up for the 2011 season with the start of preseason practice Monday (July 11) and although the Lions can’t don full pads until Aug. 1, heat already is a concern.
Head Coach Joel Schrenk adjusted the practice schedule last week due to the intense heat. Players conducted workouts at 5 p.m. before hitting the practice field at 7 p.m.
“We are very aware of the heat and want to make sure we do everything we can to take care of the welfare of our players,” Schrenk said. “By going later it’s a little cooler, not much, but it’s better.”
The TSSAA sent out a press release last week reminding officials of the organization’s statewide heat policy.
The TSSAA Heat Index Policy applies anytime student-athletes are participating in a school supervised activity. Coaches must have a digital psychrometer or another means to check the heat index onsite. Proper modifications must be made based on the policy which can be found at www.tssaa.org.
Regardless of what the activity is, all outdoor activity must be completely shut down if the heat index onsite is 105 degrees or greater. Indoor workouts must stop if air conditioning is not available and the heat index indoors is 105 degrees or greater. The index must be checked every 30 minutes.
“The heat is always serious business,” Schrenk said. “This is an important time for us as we prepare for the season but we have to make sure we are taking care of the players as we progress. We make sure they are hydrated while we are on the field and they are water breaks are allowed freely, in addition to ones we schedule.”
Most of the first two weeks of preseason practice is spent working on installing the offense and defense, while also acclimating new players to the program. Conditioning during this time does help prepare the players for the more grueling conditions that lie ahead when they don full pads in August.