Steve Morrow, the Blue Springs High School trainer who was once a member of the Kansas City Royals training staff, says it’s going to get hot this week.
“Welcome to the metro area in August,” quipped Morrow, as he headed down to the Blue Springs football practice at Peve Stadium. “We have been blessed to have the weather we’ve experience basically all summer, but doesn’t it figure that the week leading up to our first football game and all the other activities at the high school that the temperature is going to get in the high 90s?”
In the past, teams have dealt with heat and humidity in different ways, making sure that students’ health was the top priority.
“We’d practice at 6 in the morning or later in the evening,” Blue Springs South football coach Greg Oder said. “We had to watch out for the kids; that has always been the top priority for any program.”
His counterpart at Blue Springs High School agrees. Before sending his players off the field following last Friday’s jamboree at Peve Stadium, coach Kelly Donohoe warned his Wildcats about two threats.
“No. 1, don’t go hanging out with the wrong people, all that will do is get you in trouble,” said Donohoe, whose Wildcats have won back-to-back Class 6 state championships, “and PLEASE, stay hydrated.
“I’m not just talking about the day of the game, but have a bottle of water with you at all times next week. You have to start thinking about keeping hydrated (Saturday) and keep drinking plenty of fluids until our game next Friday (at home against Staley).”
While the temperatures are soaring, Morrow said it should not pose a problem as long as the students follow the two 'S's.'
“First, be smart,” Morrow said. “Drink plenty of fluids and keep drinking them throughout the day. Second, be safe. The cool weather has been a blessing, but now that it is hot, kids have to be smart and safe – they go hand in hand.”
The Wildcat boys cross country team picked a perfect afternoon to take part in the ALS ice bucket challenge, in which students and coaches accept the challenge of having a tub of ice water dumped over their head in a move that supports and publicizes the plight of individuals with Alzheimer’s or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
“On a day like today, it feels pretty good,” boys cross country coach Frank Gallick said, after an ice bath in the east parking lot at the high school. “This is a little bit extreme, but we are really keeping an eye on our guys this week.
“It’s been nice and cool, and now the temperatures are soaring and we don’t want anything to happen to anyone.”
Stephen Mugeche, who finished second at the state cross country meet last year as a junior, said he enjoys the soaring temperatures.
“I like it when it’s hot - the hotter the better,” Mugeche said. “But you won’t see me in class or anytime during the day without water. I keep hydrated and I really take care of myself, and I know all my teammates do, too.”
Heat is nothing new to David Allie, the longtime Raytown South head football coach who is just starting his first season as the head coach at Grain Valley High School.
“We’re used to the heat, and we’re watching after the players,” Allie said. “These guys have a new coach and are really excited about the season, but they can’t get too excited. We want them to stay hydrated and watch after themselves.
“Like all the area coaches, we’re taking the extra water breaks, making sure they stay hydrated before practice and that they are eating properly. They’re excited about our first game – we want them hydrated and ready to go Friday night at home against Savannah.”