Heat affects NA athletic practice

With temperatures topping 100 degrees and heat indices reaching over 100 degrees, precautions have to be taken as to avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion. 

One of the areas that the New Albany School District is focused on during times of extreme heat is during athletic practice.

At the New Albany School Board meeting Monday night, Assistant Superintendent Jackie Ford and Director of Curriculum Lecia Stubblefield gave an update on sports activities during the extreme heat

“With all of the heat and the excessive heat warning for the rest of the week and we have football practice and softball practice going on, we thought we should give a heat update,” Ford said.

Stubblefield told the board that football practice and the students’ practice times having to change due to extreme heat.

Stubblefield said, “We went to Camp Armstrong Monday morning at 7 a.m. They did practice and got started at 8. By 9:30, they were walking out. We have air conditioned facilities for them to be in until 6 p.m.”

“But, after the excessive heat advisory, we looked at the temperature at 6 p.m. and it was 99 degrees with the heat index of 107. They were going to practice from 6-8, then have dinner. They rearranged that and they will have dinner at 6 and drive to the New Albany Sportsplex at 8 and practice from 8 to 10 p.m. By 8 p.m., it will be below 90,” said Stubblefield.

Stubblefield said that the school district has not run into issues of extreme heat like this before, but her goal and Mr. Evan’s goal is to get the students out practicing when the temperature is under 90 degrees.

Two weeks ago, Lowe’s Home Improvement delivered 6,200 bottles of water to the athletes that are being iced down, so during practices, the coaches are making the athletes stop, remove their helmets, and drink the entire bottle. 

The students will receive between two and four bottles of water during practice and their coach and trainers will encourage them to drink throughout the day. 

“The trainers are weighing them before practice and after practice to gage their fluid intake. We are trying to take every precaution they have. The trainers are also monitoring their temperature. We got the tub out there for ice in case of an emergency,” said Stubblefield. 

Powerade, water, bananas, oranges, apples are all drinks and snacks that are on hand for the athletes during practice each day. 

Temperatures are supposed to drop down to the high 90s by the end of the week.