RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Soaring heat indexes have Raleigh football teams changing up practice to stay safe in the afternoon sun.
Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School head football coach Edwin Campbell said the heat has disrupted multiple practices and games so far this season.
“This part of the season has been brutal,” Campbell said. “We’ve had to push back practice. So we have had to find other ways to keep the kids, keep them involved.”
Southeast Raleigh athletics has a coded system for heat waves. Thursday was code red, the second highest code and most restrictive that still allows students outside.
“Our goal as coaches is to make sure they come back home safe,” Campbell said.
The team waited nearly three hours after school ended to go on the field, left extra gear aside and took more water breaks.
On the sideline was lead athletics trainer, Dayziana McArthur, who watched athletes for signs of heat-related illnesses.
“Signs of heat exhaustion. I’m looking to see if my kids, my athletes, are hot to the touch, heavy breathing, clammy skin,” McArthur said.
McArthur also continuously monitors the temperature, wind and humidity to make sure the heat index doesn’t climb to dangerous heights.
“Like yesterday, 106,” McArthur said. “We didn’t come outside at all. It was really hot, so I couldn’t allow them because we were in Code Black and Code Black is a whole different story. That means nobody is outside.”