Nobody does football quite like the state of Texas, but this year’s Friday night lights will have some major changes including in preseason conditioning.
”As they enter the facility they have to wear their mask, and they have to stay six feet apart. We do a temperature check each morning, and then each week they have to fill out a COVID survey," explained Midway High School's athletic trainer Chen-Wen Lee.
The preseason workouts are crucial for student-athletes to build up endurance and prevent injury later in the season.
This year athletes have a few more obstacles to work through on the practice field. Having something covering your face can be very dangerous when participating in cardio and high intensity activities.
”You gotta wear these [masks], but when you’re doing a drill you can take them off, because if you’re a young person doing a drill and having to run, these are not good for you. They are not safe," said Jeff Hulme, Head Football Coach for Midway High School.
With temperatures hitting the triple digits, athletic trainers and coaches are making sure athletes are well hydrated, and are closely watching for the warning signs to protect kids from heat strokes and other heat related illnesses.
”You’ll start noticing things like you’re not sweating as much. To be somewhat impolite, you may not have to go to the bathroom as often. Start feeling fatigue or a mild head ache," explained Dr. Jonathan Walker, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Ascension Providence.
With all the changes and restrictions, it can be tough. But football is a game of adjustments, and Midway and teams across the state are doing just that.
”We try not to look ahead. Lets worry and take care of what we can take care of and that’s right now. The kids and coaches have done a great job adjusting to what new stuff is thrown at them," said Hulme.
Due to COVID-19 the student-athletes have to bring their own water bottles to practice, and masks are not mandatory when athletes are working out, but as soon as they are done, they have to put them back on.