Beat the Heat

Herrin High’s student-athletes work through the new IHSA rules.
Logan Clough (12) warms up before the first home game of the season.
Logan Clough (12) warms up before the first home game of the season.
Photography, Nora Salazar

The heat index last week was a near-melting 115°. As if the tension between the Herrin Tigers and Marion Wildcats wasn’t enough, these athletes had to keep their practice and game schedules through the tortuous heat. Because of a couple adjustments to the IHSA rules, our athletes had to have practices pushed back, or even canceled. As you can imagine, that took a big toll on teams and their coaches.  


The head coach of the Varsity Football Team, Coach Perry, stated “While practices were short, they continued to work hard and stay together as a team.” With the support of teammates                                        and coaches, Noah Mason (12) said “We grew together through the heat, and even though the weather made practices a little more exhausting, our coaches worked with us and the team helped each other the whole way through.” The sudden weather change has not only affected the football team but other sports such as soccer, tennis, cross country, and golf.


These new adjustments, while they have changed and affected our athletes’ schedules, have also made a change on the parents of the athletes. Junior Harper Smedshammer’s mother states that “The push backs because of the heat has made it harder for Harper to do her homework, and it is hurting the athletes sleep schedules. Some of the girls don’t get home until late at night and have no time for anything other than showering and sleeping.”  Some restless nights have been spent doing homework because of these pushed back practices and matches.   


Keegan Weber (12), a goalie for the soccer team, agreed that the heat made practices 100% harder but had “no real effect” on his sleep or homework schedule. He says “Soccer practices have always been late, so it has no effect on me really.” Although Weber was not affected by the change, not all athletes feel the same. If there is no time to get the right amount of sleep or do their homework, it can cause a lot of stress for the student athletes. Not only does it affect them mentally, but it also affects them physically, as the heat can wear away at their playing skills. Athletes and coaches have agreed that the heat has been making everyone more tired and sore.  


Health is one of the top priorities for our teams. Coaches have been handling the issues of the weather very accordingly, they have been giving the athletes more water breaks and longer ones too. Harper Smedshammer, a junior, says “Our coach has been dealing with the weather issues really well, we used to only get about one water break every twenty minutes, but now we get a water break every fifteen minutes, and they are longer, which we really appreciate.”      


While this has been a rough week for the Herrin Tiger athletes, coaches, parents, admin, and  the entire town of Herrin, the athletes have proved that they not only can beat the heat, but embrace it.                             

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