Practice fields sizzle in record summer heat - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Practice fields sizzle in record summer heat

Practicing the game winning field goal at Christian Brothers High School, the kick is good, and the temperatures are scorching Thursday afternoon. The team practiced in full pads despite a 103 degree heat index.

At Central High in Memphis the team is on the field at 3:00pm. They didn't practice in full pads, but the sign nearby shows a temperature of 105 degrees.

"It's too hot for anybody out at that time of the day," Natasha Pegues told Action News 5. Her nephew is on Central High's team. Pegues wished practice was later in the day. "I think they should take everything into consideration with the heat and whatnot."

Parent Alex Bogan agreed. "I think they need to change it. I tried to get my son to quit but he doesn't want to, so I am with him 100%," he said. 

Memphis City School leaders say they go by state approved standards. On a day where the heat index is 103 degrees, water breaks are mandatory every 20 minutes. Each break lasts 10 minutes and includes iced down towels. Practice is suspended if the heat index reaches 105 degrees.

Players didn't seem to mind the stifling sun. "Feels like a normal day to us," said Central High's Michael Harper. "We are used to it. We've been through it all summer."

Summer took its toll Wednesday when four Southwind High football players collapsed after practice because of the heat. Thursday and Friday Shelby County school leaders delayed all football practice until 6:00pm. "We just didn't feel comfortable having the athletes out there in those conditions," said district spokesman Mike Tebbe.


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