LAMAR, MO – While heat stroke can be easily prevented, it happens often among athletes.
“Heat stroke is a real danger, it’s actually one of the most common causes of death of young athletes in this country” Says Dr. Jeremy Sturgell, Cox Barton County Hospital Director of Emergency Department.
According to Sturgell, there’s an estimated 1,000 deaths of heat stroke a year.
4 of which happening with athletes in the last month.
“The tragic thing about this is every death from heat stroke is completely preventable if you have a proper recognition, and proper treatment and proper early activation of EMS.” Sturgell says.
The Lamar Tigers practice for 3 hours a day, typically when the heat index is high.
So, to combat the heat, head coach, Jared Beshore tackles the issue with more than just x’s and o’s.
“Occasionally on some drills we will take helmets off, maybe some shoulder pads off, get them in the shade on their breaks, actually let them go underneath the stadium, so they’re not just standing in the heat.” Beshore says.
“It’s really hot, I mean, but without our great coaches it could be worse, so that’s what I just tell myself.” Says Mason Gastel, Lamar Wide Receiver and Defensive Back.
Although it can be exhausting practicing in this heat, Coach Beshore says it’s all worth it come Friday nights.
“We gotta be out in the heat of the day for the most part during this time just to get acclimated to that heat, because when we get to end of august, even on a Friday night it’s still extremely hot, and we don’t want our kids cramping.” Beshore says.
Beshore adds if they came out every morning to practice, he believes they wouldn’t be ready for Friday night lights.