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Choctaw Athletics Are Heating Up
The heat this summer and early fall has affected many students across campus, none more than the student-athletes who practice in the heat daily.
Mississippi residents are no strangers to hot summers, but the 2023 temperatures have been record-breaking. Facing no rain for months at a time and new levels of humidity, everyone has been affected by the weather.
Temperatures have not dropped with the beginning of the new school year. Mississippi College has been affected by the heat in many ways. Students and professors are having to beat the heat walking to class, dorm and classroom air conditioning units are having issues, and the quad grass is dying.
Those most affected by this oppressive heat are those who play outdoor sports. Student athletes have always had to fight through the heat in the late days of July and early August, but the thermostat showing triple digits raises serious safety concerns.
The heat has caused players such as football redshirt freshman John Henry White and track and field junior Christopher Garcia-Cloud to do things differently during practice. The overwhelming heat has made all outdoor sport coaches take a look at the best way to practice hard and keep everyone safe and healthy.
White said that this summer was the first time the Choctaw football team has had practices in July, which may have helped them get accustomed to the heat. “This July was our first time coming here and working out…and it did not affect us then,” White said.
Even after practicing for a month, the August heat wave still affected the team's routine. “This August, we have had some heat waves recently,” said White. “So we practice later at six and earlier at five.”
Football is not the only sport who has had to adapt this August. “Practices have been really hard to attend because we are trying to stay out of the heat,” Garcia-Cloud said.
Changing practice times to keep the athletes out of the sun while also making sure to work around their class schedules has been difficult. “We found ourselves pushing practices to six and seven a.m., when normally we throw at three p.m., or if we do not make the early slot, we go at six or seven at night,” Garcia-Cloud said.
The overwhelming heat has taken its toll on many student-athletes, but the coaches and players have taken the proper precautions. “We are trying to put work in and practice,” said Garcia-Cloud. “But we want to keep ourselves in good shape, but most importantly be safe.”
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