GROVE CITY, Pa. (WKBN) – Anyone who was outside on Monday, even if just for a few minutes, knew how hot and sticky it was.
The area is experiencing some of the warmest air of the season just as high school football teams are getting ready for their seasons. Reporter Julie Bercik spent the day at a football camp at Grove City College to see what precautions are being taken to make sure athletes do not get heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
Canfield, Lakeview, Columbiana and Springfield are all part of Wolverine Football Camp at Grove City College. It is almost like a mini-Steelers training camp, with teams living on campus for three days.
The teams have morning and afternoon practices then a night scrimmage.
Those days are jam packed with drills and training, all in the blistering heat. There is no shade on the practice fields, so there are lots of water breaks that are actually documented.
“Saying OK, 2:15 Columbiana would take a water break. If they have not taken another water break in 30 minutes, then I send coach out to talk with him about taking another water break,” Grove City College athletic trainer Kay Mitchell Emigh said.
While the coaches are focused on players getting plays and drills right, Emigh is an extra set of eyes making sure the high school athletes don’t get heat stroke or exhaustion.
“An athlete who is starting to feel a little sluggish, particularly if an athlete is not sweating at all, then that is an emergency,” Emigh said.
She uses a stress monitor to measure the temperature outside. It was about 95 degrees Monday afternoon, but it felt like 118 degrees.
“It wears us down a little bit, but you got to fight through it,” Cooper Smith from the Columbiana Clippers said.
“Sometimes it is really tough and my hair is so long it gets kind of rough but for the most part, you just kind of power through it and get used to it,” Crystal Stone from the Columbiana Clippers said.
Players fuel up and cool off in between the three daily practices and while it’s a long and draining day, most of them love it.