Marion high school athletes prepare for season in extreme heat

These hot temperatures across the Heartland can make outdoor activities dangerous. One high school football team shares how they prepare for the season
Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 10:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2023 at 11:01 PM CDT
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Marion, Ill. (KFVS) - Hot and humid temperatures across the Heartland can make outdoor activities dangerous.

High school coaches have to keep their athletes safe while practicing. A.J. Klooster is the Marion high school Athletic Trainer.

“Trying to get that practice in without necessarily overloading them a little bit,” said Klooster. “We want to stress them but we don’t want to stress them to the point of where they are starting to get sick or showing signs of heat illness or anything.”

On Thursday evening, July 27, the football field was too hot for players to practice on.

“We kind of go off of the wet bulb thermometer. It tracks not only the temperature, but it tracks humidity and wind temperature. It measures the body’s ability to be able to cool itself off,” said Klooster.

The magic number is 90. When the wet bulb reads below 90 degrees, it’s safe for players to practice outside. But if it’s 90 degrees or higher, Coach Jason Dunning said they are able to practice indoors.

“We can get stuff done here inside our indoor facility which is a luxury that a lot of other schools don’t have,” said Dunning.

When the team does practice in the heat, Dunning said they take plenty of precautions.

“Any time we can take the pads off and still get teaching moments done, we will do that, lots of water breaks, lots of rest,” said Dunning.

Klooster said the main goal is to keep the team healthy.

“We want the team to do well obviously, but safety right now is the prime concern, and I mean it is really hot,” said Klooster.