New Pickens football coach Chris Parker says the GHSA’s new heat guidelines and education helped last week when one of his players was hospitalized after practice because of a heat illness.
The player, a starter on the defensive line, was released over the weekend, although he might not return to practice until next week, Parker said.
The player became ill at the end of practice Thursday, the second day that teams could have mandatory workouts. One of the new GHSA guidelines requires that a cold immersion tub be available to players if the wet-bulb temperature exceeds 92 degrees.
The reading was not that high on Thursday, but the tub was used on the player. He seemed to rally, Parker said, but began experiencing severe cramps afterward, and an ambulance was called.
‘’The things they’re doing with the temperature guidelines, it’s good,’’ Parker said. “It holds people accountable. We’re much more educated on how to handle those things. When most of us first started coaching, we didn’t know any better.’’
Parker cautioned that heat issues in football are almost impossible to prevent entirely. They occured last week even when his team wasn’t in full pads and followed the GHSA’s guidelines.
‘ ‘The mistake that people make is that they assume now that we have these guidelines, things aren’t going to happen,” Parker said. ”When something happens, we have to do best we can at that moment and hopefully learn from it.’’