GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) – The sun is down, but the heat is still on.
As Holly Springs and Garner scrimmage on a Wednesday night at Trojans Stadium, temperatures soar in the high 90’s, and athletic trainers become a football team’s most valuable person. They determine whether or not practices and games continue or halts.
“A temperature of 90 degrees with a humidity that’s roughly in the 50 to 60, anything over 70-percent would definitely put us in that black stage where we can’t stay out and practice,” Garner head trainer Adam Wall said.
When it’s hot, Wall is on high alert, constantly checking his athletes for any signs that could signal a player is in distress.
“Mental confusion is one thing, looking dazed, feeling light-headed, feeling fatigued, feeling like they have to throw up are the big symptoms,” Wall said. “It’s very similar to the symptoms of a concussion. So you know just looking for that dazed, disoriented, losing balance those are the big signs of heat-related illnesses.”
A player can lose more than five pounds during practice or a game, and Wall recommends for every pound lost, a player should drink a gallon of water.
The recent scorching temperatures are a reminder of the dangers athletes face when the heat soars.
“Most high school football teams are practicing in the morning,” Wall said. “Next week we start afternoon practices and that’s when it’s usually a big adjustment for everybody as far as making sure the kids are eating and hydrating.”
Until then, athletes must continue to hydrate and eat right during the dog days of summer.
“The first three weeks to a month is the hardest time period. Once we get to September things begin to cool off and we get a little bit better,” Wall said.