Heat wave causing football teams to alter practice - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Heat wave causing football teams to alter practice

Players and coaches adjusted practices to accommodate the heat. (Source: WMBF News) Players and coaches adjusted practices to accommodate the heat. (Source: WMBF News)

JOHNSONVILLE, SC (WMBF) - The heat wave locally is forcing teams to change their practice times to earlier or later in the day.

High schools across South Carolina were taking no chances on Friday's first day of practice, with heat and humidity soaring. That included Johnsonville High School.

"You need to drink 18 to 20 ounces of water per pound you lose, so if you could weigh yourself before and after practice it's a big help." said head coach Lewis Lineberger to his team.

Athletic trainers were on standby, keeping a close eye on players and looking for any signs of heat exhaustion.

According to the the South Carolina High School League's heat index chart, players were just on the verge of the danger zone, as the combination of temperature and high humidity opened the door to dehydration, muscle cramps and heat stroke.

Lineberger said he chose to push practice to later in the evening to avoid some of those issues.

"So they get some heat and get some cool weather where they can workout every day," he said. "But here lately, it's been extremely hot so it's even hot at 8:30, 8:45."

The South Carolina High School League urges coaches to spend the first few weeks of practice wearing just helmets before going into full pads. The League also discourages teams from having practices that last longer than two hours.

"First, you have to put it into priorities. Winning is very important to me, to this school and to this town, but our players are more important than winning a football game. So we watch them very close." said Lineberger.

The Johnsonville Flashes will have their first game on Aug. 19, and coaches and trainers said another reason for these practices is to get the players ready to play in the heat.

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