HOUSTON (KIAH) — Football is king in Texas, but so are blazing summer temperatures.
The heat will be on again Friday during Week 3 of the high school football season that’s set to take place with the Houston area under an excessive heat warning.
There are no reports of any players suffering heat-related illnesses during local games so far this season, but that’s not the case in the Austin area.
Bowie High School senior Justice Trumpler was diagnosed with heat stroke following his team’s first game in late August.
“I started vomiting like pretty much right after halftime, like the first or second drive went in,” he said. “I just like it was middle of play.”
A CT scan at the hospital later revealed his brain was swelling, but doctors treated his condition, and he’s not left with any lasting effects.
That might not be the case for the next football player who gets heat stroke, and that’s why doctors urge football coaches and trainers to be extra vigilant.
“Coaches and trainers need to work closely with physicians to figure out what makes sense for their athletes and make sure that they’re safe,” Dr. Lisa Doggett, a family physician, said.
While high school football’s governing body, the University Interscholastic League, does have rules when it comes to practicing in the heat, during games, coaches and other officials have to make the call.
“There’s not a clear cut off of a temperature that we can say yes or no, you know, it’s okay to play,” Dr. Doggett said. “It really depends on a lot of different conditions.”
Houston ISD and other local school districts bumped back game start times during week one of the season to let the temperature go down somewhat before subjecting players to it.