9 Granger High football players suffer heat exhaustion at practice

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  • Proud Skyline Alum SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 5:00 p.m.

    Poor Nutrition? My guess is that if you asked all the high school football players in the valley who were up and at football practice by 6 or 7:00 this morning if they had eaten anything for breakfast before they headed to football the vast majority will tell you no.
    I have 2 boys who are still playing football and neither one will eat anything before practice no matter what it is. They as well as myself are very aware of the need for good nutrition, they eat like famished dogs when they get home but never before.
    They do however pre-hydrate during the rest of the day and during the evenings before practice and games. Having been involved with football for 12 years pre-hydration is the most important thing for these players to do.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 11:34 p.m.

    The military takes heat injuries seriously and curtails training, even during basic. The same should apply to sports. Heat stroke can be deadly. The closest I have come to witnessing a death is when a soldier went down due to heat exhaustion. happened twice.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 11:06 p.m.

    The temperature on a Field Turf football field on a hot day can be twenty to thirty degrees hotter than the surrounding air. The smart schools installed sprinklers and water the field before practice and games to cool them off. The big problem is the black pellets. They absorb heat (besides the annoyance of getting in your shoes). The white pellets are prohibitively expensive, which is sad. Those white pellets would cool fields down considerably. The fields are great to play on, quite durable (except Cottonwood's first one), pretty, and comfortable on a moderate day. Best time to play on them is cold weather. No mud, slush, and your feet don't get that wet.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 7, 2013 8:47 p.m.

    One suggestion. is to not use ice water. Use cold water. 60-70 F. One can't drink a lot of ice water all at once so they can't replace all the water they lose in sweat. You can guzzle a lot of cool water. I know I've worked all day in 115 F heat. If it is the first couple of days of being in heat, eat some salty foods. Until you are acclimated to the heat your sweat has a lot of salt.

  • The Moose Southern, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 7:28 p.m.

    It seems like a sad irony that someone forked out 500k+ for a field, but kids can't afford a pop tart?

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    Aug. 7, 2013 6:32 p.m.

    re: GoldenGrizz86

    Not saying the Granger football coaches aren't watering the team right (not enough details in the story to draw those conclusions), but the reason the nutrition angle is a stretch to believe is the simple fact that 9 players all had the same issue on the same day. It's difficult to believe that there is a 1st Wednesday in August malnutrition pact among the players.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 6:27 p.m.

    The average daytime temperature on artificial turf is twice ambient air temp. The air temperature was 87, therefore, the turf approached 180 degrees that day. Those bits of shredded tire collect a lot of heat. Studies show fake turf is hotter than asphalt.

    In addition, the rubber off-gasses (especially on new fields), and when combined with the newly laid track, the field smelled like a tire chemical factory. Nothing like the smell of benzine in the morning.

    BYU did a study on artificial turf after noticing that players shoes were coming apart because of the heat. Now, BYU won't let their player's practice or play on artificial turf unless there is no viable alternative.

    They (like many pro-teams) went back to natural turf. They say it is easier on their players. It causes fewer injuries (ever hear of turf toe?). It naturally absorbs the sweat, spit and occasional vomit or blood seen in competitive sports. Also absorbs surprises from dogs and birds.

    The average field costs about $900,000. The problem isn't breakfast deprivation.

  • GoldenGrizz86 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 5:46 p.m.

    I've seen Granger practice. The coaches are very good about watering the boys and making sure plenty is available. Those turf fields are nasty hot, and I believe it could be a nutrition issue. Why is it so hard to imagine these boys aren't eating right? The coaches may need to educate on proper nutrition.

  • Government Man Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    The coaches need to watch these types of issues closely. I hope the team gets back in shape and has a great season. Go Lancers!!

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Aug. 7, 2013 5:15 p.m.

    I'm with Red. Our school has artificial turf and a rubber track around it. When it heats up, it's not only the heat that comes up off the surfaces, but an odor/gas from both the turf and the rubber heating up. Add that into the heat and sweat mix, and you can get nauseated players.

    Put extra Gatorade or some other sort of electrolyte drink on the sidelines, at all times, for these players. They are using up more than people realize even with just the heat - no matter how high or low the heat index is.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 7, 2013 4:26 p.m.

    We called this time of year, Hell Week, with two a day sports practices. As a prep runner in SoCali. I spent many a hot summer afternoon training in 80-90 degree weather. Yes, one needs to be properly hydrated during practice. I could drop six pounds of water weight on some long runs. Yes, one can get one's body acclimated to hot conditions with enough practice and listening to one's body. There are advantages to being heat tolerant. The first High School Cross-country race I ever won had temperatures in the upper 90s. It was hot, humid and smoggy. IMHO, I won the race because I had a higher tolerance to that day's awlful conditions and the competition hadn't brought their A game that day to the race. A simple solution for these and other young sportsmen is to have informal, read non-school,Summer conditioning programs in the warm part of the day. But realistically, Varsity FB games are typically played in the early evening.

  • Gosh-DUH Burlington, CT
    Aug. 7, 2013 4:26 p.m.

    Agree with UtahBlueDevil. seems to be a serious problem with the coaches to have multiple kids suffering from heat exhaustion, or the effects of the duration and intensity of training without breakfast. Whether it was heat exhaustion or hypoglycemia, these coaches are sorely in need of remedial training, before being allowed to put additional athletes at risk of dying or suffering other tragic consequences - brain injury for example.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    Athletes need to remember to hydrate well BEFORE practice. Players need to drink BEFORE they feel thirsty, by that time it may be too late and players are hydrated.

    Water breaks need to be 20 minutes apart, not much longer than that. Also advise coaches and athletic training staff to have shower spray where players can go through them once or twice during practice to cool off the actual body.

    Players need to hydrate well. I also saw picture of their artificial surface. Coaches and trainers need to be aware that temperatures on this field could be 20-30 degrees hotter than grass at certain times of the day.

    In the specific case with Granger, I wonder how hot the weight room is. Some buildings are overheated in the summer and though they are inside, easy for players to get complacent about drinking and weight lifting can be strenuous as well. I hope all the players are okay and Granger has a good season.

  • JP71 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    High Schools in Arizona has been dealing with this for decades. In the 1990's a player died on the field because water was being used as a reward. After the death of the student Arizona law now requires water be brought right to the field and players can drink when ever they what too. Hopefully it doesn't take a death in Utah to make some changes.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    That fake turf gets hotter than you would think.

    Give the boys some water!!!!!!


  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 7, 2013 2:42 p.m.

    We just lost a kid who died after practice last week. I played football, all my boys have or are still playing football. I get that it is a tough sport... but putting kids at risk of their health, or even lives, so that some coach or school can have a little extra pride.... it is absolutely not worth it.

    These coaches need to get there super machismo in check. No conference championship is worth having to look a parent in the eyes and explain to them that for the good of the team, it was worth putting their kids health at risk. One player.... that is possibly a kid with problems... seven players.... that is a coach that has sever problems.

  • Sheamus Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    The UHSAA even had a mandated weather acclimation for the football programs to follow this year in hopes of avoiding something like this.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    Aug. 7, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    Where are the volunteer trainers from the local universities that the high schools have had in the past?
    They teach and work with the players on such issues as nutrition and safety concerning this sort of thing.

  • DaisyUtah SLC, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 1:24 p.m.

    Horsley is the spokesman for the district..not the superintendent. Perhaps they should get someone to read his comments before he states them to the media

  • DaisyUtah SLC, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    "patriot" the weather is only 87 degrees and if you read the article it was in the morning and they were only on the field for 45 minutes when this happened. The crazy statement from the superintendent of the district is what is funny! Blamed it on the poor boys in that area that can't afford to eat breakfast...crazy talk! I do agree that these children need to be protected and watched and am glad that there is a professional trainer at each practice to watch for early signs of heat exhaustion and to get them the help they need!

  • Sheamus Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 1:19 p.m.

    Interesting that the Kearns preview mentions that a majority of the players don't eat breakfast because of the issue of low income within the area. Granger falls into that category and the news article mentions some of the kids did not eat breakfast. Nonetheless, those artificial turf field retain alot of heat, even from the previous day, that add to the current atmospheric temperature. EAT BREAKFAST, EVEN IF ITS A FEW BANANAS--GET SOMETHING IN YOUR SYSTEM.

  • DaisyUtah SLC, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    Did I read that right? The superintendent of the school district said: "At a school like Granger High School with a lower socio-economic population, nutrition could be a big factor."
    Oh come on Horsley....what a lame statement! Those poor boys at Granger can't afford breakfast??? I think a more educated and informed statement would have been about a teenagers understanding about the importance of breakfast especially while in training. Don't blame it on a low economic status....this is a wide spread issue affecting all classes and athletes! Seriously this statement was ridiculous!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    Heat Exhaustion can trigger cardiac arrest and has done so with football players over the years. I see my local football team out running all sorts of drills in the early afternoon when the temperature at the time was over 100 degrees and if I had a son on the team I would worry. When the heat is over 100 degrees you ought to not be practicing or at least scale back the real intense work outs simple because of the dangers of heat exhaustion. Football coaches tend to be 'tough guys' that tend to pass that 'tough guy' attitude onto their players ...especially at the high school level and tough guys aren't supposed to complain about heat exhaustion until they drop over or start vomiting ...at which point it is too late. Players are reluctant to complain for fear of gaining a soft reputation and so they just keep on pushing it. Again - with temperature over 100 coaches ought to NOT be pushing players through exhaustive drills. The sun is up at 5am so start practice then instead.