During summer months, football coaches and players take caution with workouts

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 27, 2001

Regardless of the sport, many athletes use their offseason to build more muscle and prepare for next year’s season.

But working out in the summer months could be dangerous, as evidenced by the death of Florida Gator football player Eraste Autin on Wednesday. Autin died due to complications from a heat stroke he suffered after working out for the Gators’ upcoming season.

Huntington High football players and coaches make sure they don’t have any heat-related injuries.

Hound players are in the middle of their summer workouts, just like other area schools. That means staff and players keep a close eye on what goes on, both in terms of physical activity and eating habits.

&uot;We make sure they get plenty of water,&uot; said Huntington junior varsity coach Cori Britt. &uot;And we take long breaks between weight and running sessions.&uot;

Hound players lift weights in the early evening hours and then run laps when the sun is setting. In the offseason, little strenuous activity occurs during the middle of the day. &uot;We like to work out in the evening. That’s the main thing,&uot; Britt said.

Senior offensive lineman Jori Ford said that maintaining a good body weight and drinking plenty of water is the key for him.

&uot;I’ve been dieting since May,&uot; said Ford, whose has lost 25 pounds since then. Ford said he tries to do some sort of outdoor activity for at least part of the day so he can get used to the heat. Ford is working on a house right now.

Ford’s advice to other players is to just watch yourself and make sure you’re in good shape before the strenuous activity starts with two-a-days.

&uot;You’ve got to start working out before you really start working out,&uot; Ford said.

Britt said last year was a difficult year for players because the season started in the middle of August. That meant that many games were played in hot conditions throughout the season.

But this year, the Mississippi Private Schools Association pushed back the start of the practice and the season. Two-a-days begin Aug. 6; the first games take place Aug. 31.

&uot;The MPSA pushed it back two weeks, and that will help beat the heat,&uot; Britt said. &uot;It’s going to make a difference.&uot;