High School Athletes Play Hard Despite Heat

By: Janelle Lilley Email
By: Janelle Lilley Email

At the James Madison University Mickey Matthews football camp, Friday's high temperatures were a big concern for coaches.

Many of the rising high school seniors attending the camp saw it as their big chance to impress the JMU coaches.

"Everybody came here for a reason: to show of to the coaches and show what they have and get a little better. So, every drill, you got to go as hard as you can, as fast as you can," says player Sean Reaver.

A great performance could mean a path toward a scholarship, which is something many athletes say is worth the sweat.

However, it's that "never quit" attitude that has JMU coaches like Ulrick Edmonds watching players' water intake as closely as their skills.

Edmonds says it's a fine line between watching athletes give it their all and watching for signs of dehydration.

"We're are aware that they won't stop. So, what we do, every ten to 15 minutes, each position coach will tell the guys stop and go get some water," explains Edmonds.

Even the athletes say they can feel the impact the high temperature has on their bodies.

"I wouldn't say, when I'm actually going, it makes a difference, but definitely between drills and after, I can definitely feel it," says Reavers.

Coaches say they are looking for any signs of dehydration such as cramping, dizziness and even a sluggish play.

"You have to watch not only that you are getting the best out of each player, but you have to watch and make sure that they're staying healthy," says Edmonds.

He says hydration is not just important to the health of the athlete, because it's also important to the impression of the coaches.

"The whole purpose of our camp is to evaluate talent, and one of the things is, you can't evaluate talent if a kid can't give his all," says Edmonds.

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