The 2015 high school football season is kicking off. But tonight football players have an extra reason to be defense: soaring temperatures.
"Well, it's exceptionally hot. It's a hot that concerns you," Lamar Football Coach Mac Barnes says. "We saw it coming. And I think a lot of people have a misconception about preparing for a first game. They'll see them cramp and say, 'Well, they're not in shape.' It's really just the opposite. They're dehydrated."
Local heat indices have been skyrocketing to over 100 degrees this afternoon. Which makes playing football even tougher. Paramedics with metro ambulance say it's so important for these teams to keep drinking water.
"They do not realize how much fluids they are losing simply by sweating, so they don't drink as much water," Kippy Smith says. "They drink what they're normally used to drinking. With the heat as hot as it is now, they need to drink water excessively."
The coaches we've spoken to say they're taking every precaution during practices and games. They know what to look for.
The key in beating heat exhaustion is detecting it early. Signs like nausea, headache, dizziness and fatigue probably mean you need more water. Coach Barnes says his players look out for each other in making sure everyone stays well-hydrated.
"We ask our players to watch each other, and if somebody's acting a little different, whether it be the heat or a concussion, the fellow players really have a lot to do with recognizing that," he says. "And as soon as you recognize something you can deal with it. It's when you don't recognize it that it gets bad."
But the games continue. And coaches say as always, safety takes top priority.