Football teams deal with high summer temperatures

Staying hydrated is key at practices

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the Oakleaf Knight's first week of football practice, the boys are playing in temperatures that feel like triple digits.

At every sun-scorched practice, there is a water bottle nearby for every team member.

"We have scheduled water breaks and rest breaks, not working them as hard as we could," said Oakleaf Knights coach Anthony Cobb. "And at the same time keeping their health."

Multiple teams have been out in the Oakleaf practice area practicing for the upcoming American Youth Football season that's only a couple of weeks away. In talking with the players Channel 4 learned that they would certainly prefer cooler temperatures while they are training.

"A little cooler, when it's really hot, so we are burning up," said a team member.

Watching kids in the heat has been an issue for coaches and schools around Jacksonville, particularly after last year's loss of DJ Searcy. Originally health officials thought Searcy died of a heat related problem after summer practice in Columbia County. Medical examiners later discovered that Searcy had an unknown heart condition which caused his death.

Still, stories like Searcy's are why team moms like Jennifer Person makes sure their kids are well hydrated for every practice and game.

"We're really trying to get the moms to get their boys started early, downing the water around lunchtime and encouraging bring tons of water. We bring ice water, tons of breaks because most important thing is to keep them hydrated."