Reporter: James Gherardi l Videographer: Levi Washburn
Lynchburg, VA - High school Football is right around the corner. Some area teams kicked off their summer practices Monday. And with the wacky weather, and terrible heat we've had at times some area schools are now practicing later in the day, to lessen the sun's effects.
In the hot summer sun, late in the day for many of these players, makes perfect sense. They avoid the heat, and as a result get prime productivity.
Running routes, and Practicing plays, all, while the sun, is setting.
"By coming out here in the evening, as you feel now the cool breeze, we avoid that 95 degree heat. Sometimes mother nature will strike a thunderstorm in there," said Jeff Woody, the Brookville HS Head Football Coach.
At Brookville High School, no two a days, or three a days; just one practice, in the cool summer sunset, is all their coach says they need.
"It works for us. The kids give me everything they've got for 2.5 hours. We learn everything we need to learn and we're able to put a good product out on the field Friday nights," said Woody.
"Well in general, the sun's setting so it's much cooler," said Brookville Athletic Trainer, Breanne Piatt.
She says practicing past the midday summer sun, is significantly safer. Piatt says heat-related injuries in football especially are all too common.
"Even if the athletic trainer's hydrating, the coach is giving them plenty of hydration breaks, it's just the temperatures, and the fact that you have a helmet on, pads, and shoulder pads that they just can't dissipate the heat," she said.
At Jefferson Forest High School, it's two practices a day. Coaches say it puts players in a routine closest to their seasonal schedule.
"It keeps us in a ritual. We practice after school at four, so we do the same thing here. Plus, when we go 7-9, it's just like when we play a game from 7-9. So it's getting us in a nice little routine," said Don Rice, Jefferson Forest HS Head Football Coach.
To keep players hydrated, both teams took water breaks about every 30 minutes. Both coaches say their practice schedules will change as the season comes closer. But for now, beating that summer heat seems to be a priority.