High School Football

It’s hot! Texas football coaches work to keep kids hydrated in 100-degree heat

Midnight madness at Boswell High School

Coach John Abendschan and the Pioneers held their 7th annual Midnight Madness at the high school to kickoff the season on Aug. 12, 2019.
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Coach John Abendschan and the Pioneers held their 7th annual Midnight Madness at the high school to kickoff the season on Aug. 12, 2019.

It’s a Monday morning practice at Kennedale High School.

The Wildcats have wrapped up their first varsity session of the 2019 season and the players have surrounded head coach Richard Barrett in the middle of the football field.

“Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate,” is the last thing Barrett says as his kids head toward the locker room.

Football season is a time to rejoice across the state. But it’s also a time to pump those fluids.

“We told our kids over the course of the summer that we have water readily available for them to make sure they stay hydrated,” Barrett said. “Drink water, you need it in your system.”

Class 4A programs and below began varsity practices on Aug. 5, which included any 6A and 5A schools that didn’t have spring football. Everyone else began Aug. 12. Private school teams started on Aug. 1.

“I use the analogy all the time that you need water in your radiator and your body is the same way. If you don’t have water, you’re going to overheat,” Barrett said.

But most coaches prep the players even before fall camp starts with workouts in the summer like Crowley head coach J.J. Resendez. The Eagles started varsity practices on Aug. 12.

“You have to acclimatize them to the weather all summer. They’ve been getting their strength and conditioning in, their plays and gassers so they should be ready for this and if you’re not, that’s on you as a program,” he said. “It’s no secret, it’s hot in Texas. We tell the boys all the time in the hallways, you better have some water with you.

“You have to prepare for it. You don’t want to be foolish and you can’t hydrate enough in this weather.”

Coach Buc won 227 games and five state titles in 21 seasons as Aledo head coach. He made the move up to athletic director in 2014, where he spent the past five years.

Some teams such as Aledo begin its practices before the sun rises. Others choose to go later in the evening.

Boswell started its varsity season with its seventh-annual midnight madness on Aug. 12.

“I’m 100 percent on hydration, you have to be,” Boswell coach John Abendschan said. “We have water at every station. If you put good things in you, you have a chance to be successful. It gets your body right because if you don’t, you can get injured down the road. They need enough water in their system.”

It was the first 100-degree day in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Aug. 8, with a heat index of 109. It also reached 101 on Aug. 9 and then over 100 degrees during the following four days. It was 103 on Aug. 13.

It’s supposed to hit triple digits three times this week alone.

“Hydration is the number one thing we focus on everyday,” Weatherford coach Billy Mathis said. “Take your helmet off, if you’re not in the drill, drink water. We harp on it every time. We can’t have kids injured or dehydrated.”

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.