DORA, Ala. (WIAT) — Some high school football games this week are pushing kickoff times back by 30 minutes or an hour to try and beat some of the heat.
Many associate football season with the start of fall but that is far from true, especially for this week’s games as some teams will play in near triple-digit heat.
“It’s going to be hot no matter what,” says Chavis Williams, Dora High School Head Football Coach. “It’s football in August in the south but anything we can do to protect the kids, we’re for it.”
CBS 42’s Meteorologist Alex Puckett says while pushing kickoff by 30 minutes to an hour may only change the thermometer by a degree or two, it might feel cooler as the sun goes down.
“You’re losing that direct sunlight, hopefully, on the field and that will help with the heat exhaustion potential those players could face,” Puckett said.
According to the Alabama High School Athletic Association, nearly 30 high school football games adjusted their kickoff times this week out of precaution, including the game between Dora and Winfield high schools.
“It’s on the adults to take care of the kids. So yes, we want them to be gladiators but at the end of the day, we want them to be safe and go home each night to come back the next day ready to practice,” Williams said. “We have cooling stations, fans, take care of the kids. Like [Tuesday] for instance, we started inside for the first part of practice then went out for a little bit.”
Dora High School football team players say they trust their coaches and don’t feel like overheating on the field is an issue. This is because they are rotated out and given many opportunities to hydrate and cool down.
“You know, it’s getting pretty hot and it’s not usually this hot so they’re taking care of us. Doing exactly what the coaches should be doing,” Dora senior player Korion Pryor said.
“As football players, it doesn’t really matter what time we play, we’ve just to be ready to play no matter what, if it’s hot if it’s cold. We just train to play,” Dora senior player Kesean Pryor said.
Williams said when his players start to not act like themselves, he knows it’s time to have them get checked out and take a break.