Sports teams struggle to practice on turf as temperatures soar

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GLASTONBURY--While most people are trying to stay as cool as possible in the heat, some athletes are forced to deal with the high temperatures head on.

Glastonbury High School's football team was practicing Monday evening on its turf field, which makes the immediate area even hotter.

"The temperature on the athletic turf versus grass could be anywhere from 20 to 30 degrees hotter," said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

"The most important thing is probably staying hydrated," said Dr. Niehoff. "When that air around you is 120 degrees and its coming up from the bottom, there's really no escape, especially without a breeze."

"We actually got up this morning and texted everybody we had numbers of and said start hydrating now," said Glastonbury football player Jared Nelson.

Glastonbury athletic trainer Ann Daniel stressed the importance of hydration. "You can't come out 10 minutes before and drink a bottle of water. You're not going to be hydrated enough. You have to start a couple days ahead of time."

Head football coach Scott Daniels said they try to make the situation more bearable for the players, but that turf fields have been something they've dealt with for years.

"We do a lot of things with helmets off," said Daniels. "We get them extra rinses and things like that. We're used to it."

Glastonbury's trainers are also prepared for the heat.

"We have cold tubs in our training rooms to put kids in if they start to get too hot," said Daniel. "Ice bags, just lots of water, lots of breaks."

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