Heat a major factor in start of prep football jamborees - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Heat a major factor in start of prep football jamborees

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - While the players are getting ready for some big plays on the gridiron. Friday's heat index will play a major role on if many of these athletes will complete a pass, or even step foot out on the field.

"It's been miserable. Our kids have adapted to it pretty well. You kind of get acclimated to being out in it, but its still pretty brutal," says Red Bank High School Coach Tim Daniels.

For weeks, high school athletes across the Tennessee Valley have been battling it out in summer practice, getting ready to kick off their seasons Friday in the prep jamborees.

"You're going to be down on turf which is a carpet that has rubber mixed in it, black rubber and the heat down there is going to be even worse," says Coach Daniels. "I don't know if they will let us start until it gets down to the temperature we are allowed to be in pads."

According to TSSAA guidelines, players can't practice or compete if the heat index is above 104 degrees.

And if the heat index is 95 to 104 officials can stop the game for a "heat time out".

Dr. Brendon McDermott is an assistant professor and conducts research on athletes exercising in the heat.

"Football players exercising in full pads are probably getting in normal practices 103 degrees which is towing the line, because 104 degrees brain cells may actually be compromised at that point," explains Dr. McDermott.

But Dr. McDermott says these athletes should be safe as long as regulations are met and the students stay hydrated. 

Dr. McDermott says if temperatures are over 104, they should not be playing and that is a safety guideline. He says it's very important to control your hydration, and eat well before going outside to exercise.

He also says don't ever exercise when the heat index is this high if you are sick with a fever or a head cold.

Red Bank High School only had to cancel one practice this summer for heat, and one student did get sick during the extreme temperatures.

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