Freshman football Coach Rick Rosner kept his players' helmets off in the near-100 degree heat.
By ANDY MCCAMMON
Several Northview High School sports teams contended with sweltering heat as they began practice Monday.
Northview trainer Nicole Gonzales was on hand, ferrying between afternoon practices on an ATV stocked with coolers of ice water. Tents were erected around the school's athletic compound to provide sanctuary from the sun, and coaches allowed a few more water breaks than usual-- some even shortened their workout sessions considerably.
Sure, these coaches and athletes are excited for the forthcoming fall sports season. But for at least a while, the real emphasis is on safety.
"We went short today, because we started in the middle of the afternoon and it was too hot," said Tom West, Northview's boys tennis coach.
After sweating through an afternoon session on the court, West said he would adjust the team's practice schedule to include two daily sessions: one at 8 a.m., the other at 7 p.m.
He said he normally conducts early-season practices in one half-day session, but decided to sacrifice convenience in the interest of his players' well-being.
Northview's freshman football team also felt the heat Monday.
"As hot as it is, you're much more conscious about what you do," said Coach Rick Rosner, who allowed his players plenty of opportunities to re-hydrate while keeping them out of heavy equipment.
"They'll definitely get a lot of breaks, and the times we're teaching they'll have their helmets off," he said.