Photo by Kevin Brooks.
Hoover football 2014
Hoover’s Bradrick Shaw (27) is hoisted by teammates after scoring a touchdown in the Class 6A state semifinals against Vestavia Hills last season.
If you’re heading out Saturday morning to Buccaneer Stadium to watch the Hoover Bucs take on Miami Central, prepare yourself. And not just for a great game.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory until 9 p.m. Saturday. Temperatures are forecast to approach 100 degrees and the heat index could be around 110.
Dr. Michael Ellerbusch, medical director at Hoover High, knows the players have been getting ready, but the fans need to take precautions too.
“We definitely want them to drink lots of fluids,” said Ellerbusch, “and if they start to see symptoms like light-headedness, dizziness, headaches, they need to get in the shade. Cool cloths to reduce their body temperature.
“If they develop more symptoms, then they need to get the EMTs involved. But it is very important for the fans to dress cool, wear light reflective clothing and drink lots of fluids. Some people sit out there and suffer until it gets too far along.”
Knowing your medical history – from prior illnesses to prescription drugs that might make you more susceptible to heat-related illness – is important. Sunscreen is good to prevent sunburn but know that creams and lotions sometimes actually keep the heat in.
And remember, water is much better than caffeine or alcohol, which dehydrates rather than hydrates the body.
Ellerbusch points out that the players have been prepared for the heat. Alabama this year became fully compliant with the Korey Stringer Institute guidelines to prevent against heat stroke and other heat-related injuries. The players progressively have worked toward being able to handle the heat. Per AHSAA rules, during Saturday’s game, there will be two-minute water breaks at the midpoint of each quarter. Doctors and trainers will be on the sideline to make sure the players stay hydrated.
Kickoff is 11 a.m. Saturday and the game will be televised on ESPN. A second game at Buccaneer Stadium between Alabama’s Class 6A No. 2 Clay-Chalkville and Niceville (Fla.) kicks off at 3 p.m. and will be carried on ESPNU.