Football competes with heat for season opener - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Football competes with heat for season opener

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As football season gets underway in the Cedar Valley, it’s finally starting to sound like fall. But as temperatures soar, coaches are helping their players beat the heat.

"We really talk to them a lot about hydrating – even back in June," Waterloo East High Head Coach Kevin Meyer said.

East, like many high schools, pushed practice back into the evening to avoid peak temps. They have also been working on drills without pads to keep cool. Meyer said flexibility like this is key to his program.

“We're all about trying to keep kids safe,” he said. “It can be a pretty physical game, obviously."

But teams have to adapt in more than just practice. Chuck Brittain refereed high school football in the Cedar Valley for 35 years. He will officiate East’s season opener Friday night against Dubuque Wahlert. He plans to add extra water breaks throughout the game, in addition to extended time outs, so that everyone on the field can stay hydrated.

“The more we can keep on hydration, the better,” he said. “Safer.”

These changes are permitted at the referee’s discretion as a safety precaution.

Coach Meyer said this extra time won’t affect the flow of the game, and welcomes the precautions.

But either way, hot or not, the players are ready to get down to it.

East Senior Coreyon Keller is looking forward to the little things about Friday’s game.

“Just the opening kickoff, the first whistle, the crack of pads, everything," he said.

Because even the heat can’t stifle a love of the game.

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