MAUMELLE, Ark. – Pads are popping, and the heat is blazing as players wrap up week one of fall camp high school football practice in the Natural State.
But as much as teams are ready for the season to start, they’re ready and hoping for this heat to bring some relief.
The Maumelle Hornets nest is burning up, but practice isn’t an option.
“If they can get acclimated this week, Friday night is going to be a breeze,” coach Brian Maupin said.
The 2nd year head coach says finding that balance in this heat to push, but not push too hard is a fine line.
“This isn’t natural, but we ask our guys to be supernatural,” Maupin said.
Coach says this fall camp is much more brutal than last year’s.
“Trying to alternate that workload to make sure the body is not over stressed,” Maupin explained.
To be a supernatural athlete, you can’t be drained. During practice, players take a break every 20 minutes, and if needed, shoulder pads and helmets come off.
Coach Maupins says Friday was the closest they’ve gotten to having to stop practice, but they started early enough to make it all the way through. It was a different story at Cabot High School practice.
Cabot’s athletic trainer Keith Shireman says he had to call 2 practices this week.
Shireman is also the president of the Arkansas Athletic Trainers’ Association. The decision for athletic trainers to call practice is determined by the 92.1-degree bulb globe scale.
The bulb globe is different from taking only the actual temperature.
“It takes into consideration the ambient temp outside, wind speed, relative humidity,” Shireman said.
Also, to beat the heat, it’s Arkansas law that every school has cold tubs for players to get in after practice.
“The battle can be won if we can get that core temperature down right away,” Shireman said.
Shireman says AATA is partnering with the Kendrick Fincher Hydration for Life Foundation in August for Heat Stroke awareness month.
The goal is to educate people of heat strokes and to get every school in the state an ice tub.
Shireman says heat strokes are 100% preventable. So, being educated on what to do in case of emergency is key. For more information on heat strokes, you can go to AATA.com.
Actual or feels like triple digit temps are a yearly battle football teams face every August and winning is the first step to a great season.
“Really good job of matching every hurdle life puts in front of us,” Maupin said as he ended practice.