Monday marked the beginning of summer football practices for some San Antonio high schools, under the sweltering South Texas sun.
With the temperatures climbing into the high 90s and triple digits some days, coaches and trainers will be working hard to guard players against heat-related illnesses.
“We have plenty of water for them, water breaks built into our schedule. They can get water whenever they want to,” said Holmes High School Head Football Coach Hector Rodriguez, who begins his practices next week.
Rodriguez said coaches and trainers alike monitor players’ performance and mannerisms, looking for signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration.
“Usually there's some lethargy involved. There can be some loss of coordination, clumsiness,” said Holmes Trainer David Powell.
After a year during which concussions came to the forefront as a national concern in athletics, Powell and Rodriguez said extra efforts are made by coaches and staff to both guard against the injury, and prevent an injury from getting worse.
Powell said players are removed immediately from games when a concussion is suspected, and aren’t allowed to begin physical activities until cleared by a doctor.
Even then, athletes must complete a five-day protocol that gradually eases them back into physical activity.
5-A school districts begin summer practices on Aug. 13.