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Arkansas schools adjust sports practices due to extreme heat

Many local schools are finding a way to avoid the scorching daytime heat by holding practices indoors or even before sunrise.

CABOT, Ark. — The heat has been impacting all of us across the state— including how local high school team sports operate.

With the extreme daytime temperatures, several teams have adjusted their practice times to early mornings.

On Thursday, practice started at 6 a.m. for Cabot High School's junior varsity team. 

Head coach and athletic director for the district, Scott Reed said that these students play extremely hard and one of the things they have to do is monitor them. 

"We talked to them all the time about every time they come off the field, we go to the water first. We don't meet and or go over plays or anything like that until they hydrate," he said.

Reed explained that staying hydrated and cool is the goal and these adjustments present challenges, but overall it’s been a smooth transition moving to the morning during the school year. 

“It makes you make sure everything's scripted, it kind of condenses practice, you have to make sure you hit the really important things. You kids have to move quickly," he described.  "I mean, it hadn't been bad at all and we've had really good practices. But our kids work out at 6 a.m. all summer, so they're really used to it.”

The football team isn’t the only team practicing during this season. 

According to Reed, it’s been a balancing act to make sure every team and group including cross-country and the band can practice while escaping the heat.

“We have to kind of work together. I know yesterday our schedule, we worked out with track, so they got the indoor first while we were in meetings or in the weight room. So you kind of put the pieces together and make sure everyone gets what they need," he described. "And with this heat, shortening practice is not a bad thing. We've all had to do that. Whether it's football, band, cross country, whatever team it is, our number one thing is to take care of our kids.” 

He believes he can speak for every coach across the state when he says safety comes first. They’ve made adjustments to schedules, traveling, and even to how they rotate players during the games, all to make sure players stay hydrated as these seasons get underway. 

They’re all adjusting to make sure our students can practice and play while remaining healthy and whole.

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