Central High School’s head coach talks dangers of summer heat, precautions taken during football camp

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The hot and humid temperatures have made it downright miserable this week across central and west Alabama. In Tuscaloosa, high school football pre-season summer practices are underway.

Central High School is hosting a football camp called seven on seven. Several local teams are participating. The heat has already been a factor. A 17-year-old Central High football player suffered from heat exhaustion and was taken to the hospital and was treated and released.

Head Coach Dennis Conner says the player is going to be okay.

“A young man got overheated, so we went through all our precautions and put him in an ice tub, so the trainer took care of him. Then we called the ambulance and contacted his parents. He went to the hospital then went home,” Conner explained.

The head coach says he takes every precaution to keep his players safe such as: taking numerous breaks, drinking water and getting a good breakfast. During each practice, trainers are on hand from DCH Hospital to make sure players are healthy.

“We give a lot of water breaks, not only a certain time. We give water breaks throughout the whole practice. And once we are done with practice I bring the kids back inside and make them just sit there and cool off a little bit,” Conner said.

12th grade student Cameron Beal plays offensive guard and defensive tackle. He takes the heat seriously.

“Hydrate, drink water as much as possible and if you can drink a powerade that’s good. But water is the best thing you can do to drink out here. We don’t want anyone at our practice to get hurt. So it is important that we take care of ourselves,” Beal reflected.

Coach Conner says Thursday’s incident was the first heat emergency this summer affecting one of his players. A DCH hospital spokesperson says during the summer the hospital treats three patients a week on average for heat exhaustion.

Central High School’s first game this season is August 25th against Bessemer.

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