FAIR OAKS, Calif. (KTXL) — Triple-digit temperatures are impacting how local athletes practice as the high school football season ramps up.
The Del Campo cougars kick off their season against Merced on Friday.
The outdoor temperatures on Monday reached a high of 104 degrees, however, if you throw in pads, helmets, and turf, it feels much hotter than that to these players. The players must find ways to stay cool to keep improving.
“Just drink water, drink water, stay out the sun, you’ll be good,” Jordan Wiley a Del Campo junior said.
Those are some of the major components in keeping the Del Campo football team cool while they practice in the heat.
With the season kicking off Friday, the cougars are taking advantage of every moment they can to practice, despite the temperature being 104 degrees.
“We’re gonna be a lot more conditioned than the other teams and the heat is just gonna wear everyone else out,” Wiley said.
Head coach Matt Costa takes staying hydrated seriously and said that there comes a point where he moves practice inside.
“Typically, if it’s above 105, we’re not gonna be outside… For example, we’re not even gonna be, it’s gonna be like 100,” Matt Costa said. “So we’ll be in will be in the gym doing walkthroughs and then we’ll go in and we’ll watch film and we’ll walk through all of our blitzscale information sets and walk through all of our plans. So we’re still getting stuff done and we’re being productive. We’re just not going to put our kids in a position where they’re going to get heat illness.”
Playing out in the hundred-degree heat can get dicey, but coach Costa said the players know they can always take a seat in the shade if they need a break from the sun.
“When they start getting dehydrated, we take them off,” Costa said. “Right and whether they’re an equivalent or not, they’re, they’re coming off the field as soon as possible. We want to make sure that we get them cooled down as soon as possible. And we want to make sure that we get water and get water and hydrated.”
At just after 5 p.m. the temperature gun reads 130 degrees on the turf where the football team is practicing.
“It’s terrible on the turf, but when youre working you just don’t think about it,” Wiley said.
Many of the players, like Wiley, grew up in the heat, and they have learned how to adapt in order to put in that extra work now and hope it will pay off in the playoffs.
Most varsity football teams play at night under the lights when it is a bit cooler, but a lot of the junior varsity players have to play before the sun goes down and with the heat that is going to be sticking around for a while, they are going to make sure to be drinking water.