STILLWATER — The heat is definitely on some high school coaches throughout the area. As football practices began Tuesday and softball teams try to prepare for the start of the season later in the week coaches are forced to figure out a way to deal with the heat.
“We got to put our big girl pants on and get used to this heat because I don’t think it’s going to go away,” said Stillwater High School softball coach Amber Davis. “We take water breaks every 10 minutes and they have to drink water or Gatorade during each break. We are using sea breeze towels this year and the girls seem to like them to put on their faces.”
While the softball team may not have a choice when it comes to playing in the heat, Stillwater football coach Tucker Barnard has his team practice before the field gets too hot.
“We’re practicing in the morning,” Barnard said. “It will still get hot, but we’ll be done on the field by 11 a.m. everyday. We’ll have tents, we’ll have misters, we’ll have water and Gatorade for the players. We’ll also structure practice a little bit different, where every hour we’ll go inside for about 20 minutes just to cool off a little bit.”
Barnard said those breaks should help keep his players from getting too hot, even when the Pioneers put on the pads starting Friday — where temperatures are expected to be a little bit cooler. During the time they’re inside Barnard will go over film with his players.
“I don’t think it will keep us from doing anything that we want to do,” Barnard said. “We’ve got a great training staff. Aaron Harmon works full-time and will be out here every minute of practice. That really allows us as coaches to coach football, while he gets to watch the kids. ... We won’t really back off anything we want to get done.”