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Hot Weather Football is Not a Pleasant Memory

FILE: High School Football

Hot weather and the heat advisories that go along are a reminder of the price athletes and marching band players can pay this time of year.

I don’t like to think about it now, but my one year of high school football happened almost 50 years ago. Fifty years! That’s the part I don’t like to think about. And the heat.

I was an 8th grader, and we were allowed, if that’s the word, to go out for high school football, probably to learn some skills that we could use once we got older. We would learn the basics, scrimmage against the older guys and sometimes get really pummeled.

Understand here, I was 13 years old and I weighed 95 pounds, and I wasn’t the only one. We didn’t pose a big obstacle for older guys running plays, but we gave it our best shot.

But about playing in hot weather: Our coaches didn’t believe in letting us get a drink of water. “You’ll get waterlogged,” went the argument. So we were allowed to “rinse our mouths out.” You’re out there in a helmet, pads and everything, and you’re told to rinse your mouth out, and that’s it.

And on a hot day, that didn’t help much. But we were also encouraged to swallow salt tablets because the prevailing logic said we were losing salt when we perspired.

Of course, we were losing water, too, but that didn’t seem to matter.

Anyway, I gave it one year, and even though I gained 10 pounds that season I spent high school as a student manager instead.

Student managers probably take as much abuse from players and coaches as we did then, but at least I could get a drink of water when I needed it.

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