Excessive heat warning has high school athletic programs in prep mode

The start of Southern California’s longest and deepest heat wave arrives on Wednesday, which means high school athletic programs are in preparation mode to protect their athletes while continuing to host or modify events.

In the Los Angeles Unified School District, it will be up to school administrators to make decisions about events and practices while consulting with district staff, but everyone will check the heat index (how it really feels when relative humidity is considered with actual air temperature) and receive information from the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

Some events have been canceled, such as a cross-country meet scheduled for Pierce College in Woodland Hills on Thursday, when the high temperature is expected to be 104. Taft High assistant principal Neezer McNab said athletes were asked to drink plenty of water the night before any workout. The soccer team has a game scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday at Dymally. Schools will decide if the game date should be changed by Friday.

Garfield’s football coach, Lorenzo Hernandez, said his school has a WetBulb Globe Temperature monitor donated by the National Federation of State High School Associations. which measures heat stress in direct sunlight and will be used for all outdoor activities. Football training will have “anytime” water and rest breaks, while uniform gear could be adjusted to helmets and shoulder pads, plus a quick-cool station available for an ice bath in case of emergency. Practices will be changed to either early morning or late afternoon depending on field availability.

Lower-tier football games scheduled for Thursday afternoon could be moved or postponed depending on the heat index.

St. Francis football coach Dean Herrington said Wednesday’s practice start time has been moved from 3:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. breaks.

Arleta was supposed to host Marquez in a one-day football match on Thursday. From now on, the match will be played at night in Marquez.

A cross-country invite scheduled for Saturday in Pomona will start four hours later and end after 10 p.m.

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