Keeping Cool on the Gridiron

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It's a scorching hot day out on the football field but the guys of the Williamstown High School Football Team try to stay cool.

"We have at least three jugs of water each station, we always stay hydrated, we take breaks every fifteen minutes," says senior Avery Goff. "It's the mandatory drink, you have to get a sip."

Water is the key when it comes to athletes beating the heat.

"We try to make sure that they're hydrated, lots of water all the time, we always talk about it all the time and we try to get in good condition because we know that it's going to be pretty hot out here in August," says head football coach Terry Smith. "We also give a lot of breaks, a lot of breaks, try to keep out of the sun, try to be quick."

The reading on the thermometer is just one tool that Smith uses to monitor how safe it is for the kids to stay outside and practice, the WSSAC guideline strip is another.

"We always keep an eye on the temperature and humidity, I think the humidity might be even more important than how hot it is," Smith says. "Our trainer keeps track of it."

If a player exhibits any signs of heat-related illness, they must get out of the sweltering temperatures promptly.

"Anytime they feel dizzy, anytime they feel anything, they can sit out, we send them into the air conditioning and have them lay down," Smith says.

While good health remains the priority, heat can sometimes cause a more serious outcome. If that should happen, Smith is ready.

"We send 'em right over here to Dr. Eddy and then we'll take 'em to the hospital or something like that," Smith says. "But we've been pretty fortunate and we haven't had any of those problems."

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