Albany high school football beat the heat - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany high school football beat the heat

The Albany High School Football team has one thing on their mind: the heat. (Source: WALB) The Albany High School Football team has one thing on their mind: the heat. (Source: WALB)
Albany High School defensive back Alexander Dawson (Source: WALB) Albany High School defensive back Alexander Dawson (Source: WALB)
Albany High School Head Coach Felton Williams (Source: WALB) Albany High School Head Coach Felton Williams (Source: WALB)
A few years ago, Georgia had the highest number of heat-related deaths among athletes.  (Source: WALB) A few years ago, Georgia had the highest number of heat-related deaths among athletes. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Albany High School Football team is three weeks away from its first game of the season.

Other than winning, coaches had one thing on their minds: the heat.

It's a normal day it's South Georgia heat. It's something we got to get used to. We have to accommodate every week. It's never the same so we just got to keep fighting through it," said defensive back Alexander Dawson.

Dawson is a rising senior and has seen players overheat, so he stays hydrated.

"I try to drink lots of water and Gatorade everyday," said Dawson.

He said coaches constantly monitor the players.

"They make safety first on the field before anything. They want to get you as safe as possible to make sure you can come back another day," said Dawson.

Head Coach Felton Williams said it's a top priority.

"Erring on the side of caution if a kid looks like he's tired or exhausted we will immediately remove him from the heat," said Williams.

A few years ago, Georgia had the highest number of heat-related deaths among athletes. The Georgia High School Association now requires coaches to carry a special device.

"A wet bulb globe temperature that all the schools have, all the schools in Georgia should have these," said Director of Medicine Henry Rivers.

When the wet bulb temperature rises above 82, coaches must modify practice.

"It may mean just practicing with shorts and shimmels but regardless of what modification. If it gets too hot we won't practice at all," said Williams.

That cut off is 92 degrees when players head inside.

"I believe we always need the field work everyday is a day to get better but film is a great part of football because you have to be smart and understand the game to be smart on the field," said Dawson.

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