Eastern Carolina athletes see altered practices due to heat advisory

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – High school athletes are starting their fall sports season, but are having to ease their way into outside practices under the blazing sun.

“There’s been a couple of times in the afternoon where football has had to stay inside until about seven at night and not come out until later on in the afternoon,” said New Bern High School, Athletics Director.

According to some area public school leaders, there is different guidance when it comes to outdoor practices in this heat.

“There’s a trained medical professional at all of the practices, and that’s the person that’s monitoring the wet bulb is supposed to be monitored beginning 30 minutes before you start practice and then monitored every hour throughout the practice,” said Greg Grantham, Onslow County Coordinator Director.

If the wet bulb is above a certain point, practices will adjust according to the North Carolina High School Association guidelines. But once a game starts, it is on the officials to call for hydration breaks.

A high school athletic trainer says one of the best tips is to have athletes prepare properly for the heat.

“Just make sure you’re drinking lots of fluids, eating nutritious meals, no skipping breakfast, which is your typical high schooler. Don’t eat breakfast; go to practice or go to practice, so get a good healthy breakfast” Young’s Physical Therapy Athletic trainer, Nick Davic.

WITN was also told that all high school football athletes go through an acclimation period when starting practice, including not wearing full gear for the first full days.

High schools across the county aren’t the only ones taking precautions, even some leagues, like the Pitt Greenville Soccer Association, have canceled practice for some of their athletes due to the heat.