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Is Heat to Blame?


Statistics show 12 football players die nationwide every year.
Three players have died in Houston within the last couple of weeks, and the Brazos Valley has had its share of scares.

Friday a Hempstead football player collapsed during the game because of exhaustion, and last month Austin Westlake's Matt Nadar was revived during an A&M Consolidated football game.

Both players have recovered, but local coaches know next time they might not be as fortunate.

"We watch our athletes and make sure if we see any signs of heat illness if they are looking disoriented or dizzy or anything like that we'll pull them aside," Bryan High School Head Athletic Trainer Josh Woodall said. "We talk to them and find out what's going on and do what we need to do to prevent an incident."

In the last few weeks three Houston football players have died, including Rice University Freshman Dale Lloyd who collapsed during a team practice. The cause of death has not been determined.

Hempstead football player Michael Thompson was released from the hospital Saturday after his collapse due to exhaustion during Friday night's game.

"I know that it can happen to anybody," Bryan High School Football Player Keevin Monroe said. "The fact is I always try to stay on top of mine if I'm feeling fatigued I let the coach or the trainer know."

So what are schools doing to stay prepared?

"We have Automated External Defibrillators (AED's) in place here at the athletic department and our coaches are trained in first aid and CPR," Woodall said.

At Bryan High, water is available, iced towels during hotter games, and electrolyte drinks, like Powerade.
Also if the heat gets to be too much, practice can be moved.

"If we're going to have extreme high temperatures or the heat indexes are going to be very high sometimes we'll limit the amount of exposure outdoors and we'll move some of the practice inside," Woodall said.

A precaution that could end up saving lives.


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