High school athletes battling with hot temps

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by Kristine Harrington

azfamily.com

Posted on August 22, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 26 at 5:13 PM

Poll:
Should HS football games in the Valley be cancelled tonight for the excessive heat?

PHOENIX - So far it's the hottest August on record for Phoenix, and another record was broken today. Still, this excessive heat isn't keeping some dedicated high school athletes out of the sun.

 "You have to be dedicated to the sport to get out here put on a helmet put on pads and hit someone in 113 degree heat," said Jonathan Finley a Junior, who plays Varsity Football at Camelback High School.

The entire team made up of football fanatics.

"It could be 125 degrees out here, shoot, I don't even care," said Benjamin Gardner, a senior at Camelback. "I don't want to seem like I'm weak so if I pass out oh well."

But passing out is precisely what trainer Marisa Medrano is trying to prevent, asking one freshman athlete in the sidelines, "Do you feel like you going to throw up or dizzy?"

Whether he likes it or not, this teen is carted away for a break in some air conditioning. Medrano rarely leaves it up to the guys to decide if they can play or not.

"I tell them I'll let coach know I'm pulling you out this isn't you deciding you don't want to be there," she said.

The fan with misters, the Gatorade and frequent water breaks, also go a long way toward keeping these tough guys healthy, but regardless of how much you prepare for it, this desert heat is dangerous so adjustments to practice are made and Marisa makes that call too.

"Today they are just wearing helmets," said Medrano. "It's too hot for pads."

Monday's practice is tough enough with these players facing a ruthless opponent in the weather.

"It's hard, it's real hot, makes you sweat a lot, you just got to stay hydrated," said senior Damian Hendrix.

But that will be a challenge the rest of the week.

In fact, with more records temperatures in the forecast many high schools are considering pushing back game times later this week.

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