Summer Heat Impacts Football, Band Practices

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Meridian, Miss. After a mild start to the summer, true summer heat has arrived in time to impact those who spend their afternoons practicing for football or the band.

With temperatures expected to soar near 100 degrees, many schools already have plans in place to make sure each and every student remains safe.

Meridian High School assistant head football coach, Calvin Hampton, says during long stretches of heat, the safety of students is the school's number one concern.

"We're fortunate enough to have an athletic trainer on our grounds; we also have some student trainers that come from West Alabama," Hampton said. "What they do is they come down and advise us. Coach, it's time to ease up on him. Coach, we're going to go ahead and take him inside."

So, football players are being watched closely; that's good news. What about the many students who spend countless hours practicing the musical numbers you hear during the games?

"As far as our band students, in our lesson plans we have water break periods every 15 minutes the students are allowed to take," MHS band director, Antonio Altman, said. "If at any time they need water they can just go ahead and get water."

The football coach also touched on the importance of water for his players.

"Every day we stress to them that it's good to hydrate yourself at night once you get home. Therefore right when you come to school the next day you stay hydrated," Hampton said. "If you have enough water in your system you won't be losing too much of it."

Along with holding practices later in the evening around sunset, Hampton says frequent water breaks are stressed as well.

"Our goal is to make sure that none of our students are experiencing extreme heat conditions on a daily basis because it is hot," MHS principal, Victor Hubbard, said. "We want to make sure that number one our students are safe."