With school starting in less than two weeks, Gulfport High School’s football team had their first practice of the fall season this afternoon. Temperatures were up in the 90s and the sun was shining strong on all of the players.
Student athletic trainer, Makaila Boddy, said, “My job here, today, is to be a student athletic trainer and basically, we just help and make sure all the players stay hydrated because it’s very hot and we have to train like we play, so water is the best thing for anything.”
There were about six student athletic trainers who were running on and off the field, handing the players water bottles throughout practice.
Head coach Eddie Pierce says even though the players are out in extremely high temperatures, they never had anyone pass or need serious medical assistance because of the heat. “You know, typically, we have not had a problem with that. In the four years that I’ve been here, you know, thank goodness, thank the good lord, we have not had a problem with it and I contribute that to the off-season work in the summer.”
Players had two ways to drink water, the athletic trainers handing them bottles on the field or players could come up to a jug and spray water directly in their mouth.
“These guys have been out in the heat all summer, too. It’s not like we just walked out of an air conditioned room and onto the practice field, they’ve been working since the first week of June, so they’re pretty acclimated to it,” said Pierce.
Gulfport’s first game is the Shrimp Bowl against St. Stanislaus at Milner Stadium on August 21st.