Hirschi Football Coaches Tackle the Heat During Training Camp

An investigation is underway into the death of a South Carolina high school football player. He collapsed and died Saturday following a morning practice.

Newschannel 6 wanted to know how our area high schools are protecting players. Hirschi's football squad is the first in the area to brave the heat.

Newschannel 6 crews watched the first half of Hirschi's football training practice. Coaches and trainers are keeping a close eye on their kids, making sure water breaks are taken every 20 minutes.

Coaches say their strategy is to educate players on how to stay hydrated to combat the heat.

The first week of two a day football training practice can be miserable, but doing it in triple digit heat can be a scary situation.

Hirschi football coach Cody Slater says, "We are going to take those extra precautions. We are going to try to get extra stuff out here. We will have the water readily available, but if a kid goes down we have the ice towels and a small pools to cool their body down."

The dangerous conditions are not being taken lightly by Hirschi high school football coaches and trainers say every day players are being educated

Coach Slater comments, "We do a good job of educating our kids in between workouts about proper nutrition and proper hydration. We make sure they are drinking the right things and eating the right things, and that will help us out."

So far the help seems to be working on the first day of practice, but trainers say they wanted to take a more proactive approach. Last week Wichita Falls ISD athletic trainers got together and decided to create a Heat Safety Procedure Protocol, setting practice guidelines for coaches when temperatures get too hot.

Under the Heat Safety Protocol, if outside temperatures exceed 105 degrees no outside practice is allowed. Hirschi football coach says he agrees with new rules. And even though his players are out early when temperatures are not as hot, he is still looks for signs of heat stress.

Coach Slater says all week practice will run from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Players will then have an hour break to recharge then practice again from 10:30 to 12:30.

The coach says next week the practice schedule may change. Practice times will be flexible so that players are not on the field during the hottest times of the day.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6