There is no relief. That’s the problem. With day after day of continuous heat, and night after night offering little to no relief, the heat takes its toll. The Dallas/Ft. Worth area has experienced 32 consecutive days of 100 degree temperatures. 32 consecutive days.
From coast to coast, nearly every state has experienced the beat down of this unrelenting heat. Viewing extended forecasts, it’s more of the same.
For most of us, we can crank up the air conditioning, head for the nearest pool or beach, or sit on the wrap-around porch and drink iced tea while singing songs of yesteryear–but the football players? The coaches? They’re stuck in it. They’re working in it. And if you have ever strapped up in the gear during the hot month of August, you know it’s brutal. This year, the brutality is exceptional, and it is proving to be fatal.
Tragically, the heat has already laid claim to two individuals within the first few days of August workouts.
On Saturday, a South Carolina high school freshman football player Tyquan Brantley, from Lamar High, died after having practiced earlier in the day. While the cause of death has not yet been determined, it is believed that the 100 degree-plus temperatures played a factor.
On Monday, Dallas area assistant coach, Wade McLain, collapsed and died after the first August practice of Prestonwood Christian School in Plano. Again, the cause of death has not yet been determined, but it is believed that the 100 degree-plus temperatures played a factor.
There seems to be constant within the practice variables.
I never felt the effects of heat exhaustion and heat stroke until I foolishly went motorcycle trekking across the desert one July. I didn’t realize how hot it was until it was explained to me in an emergency room in Arizona. The body literally begins to break down at the cellular level, and it is fatal.
Athletes are particularly susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke because they’re familiar with working through thresholds of pain and discomfort to achieve a goal, or complete a practice or competition. It would seem that this is the summer to err on the side of caution.
Our condolences to the family members of young Tyquan Brantley and Coach Wade McLain.