Food, water help players beat the heat

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 10, 2002

The dangers of overheating are always present during the summer months, especially to those that spend their afternoon wearing mountains of padding, slamming into each other on the football field. The 2001 deaths of Minnesota Vikings linebacker Korey Stringer and several college and high school players proved just how dangerous the hot sun can be.

But those who have spent several summers out on the gridiron are used to dealing with temperatures that seem to reach past 200 degrees. Out on the Lake-land field, Cavalier trainer Mike Mosciano saw his players receive a special gift from a generous parent last week.

&uot;On our first and second day, we had a mister, a converted snow-making machine,&uot; said Mosciano, in his sixth year of training at Lakeland. &uot;A parent who wanted to have snow in his yard in the summer gave it to us.&uot;

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As the week wore on, the Cavaliers didn’t need their cool friend as often, he continued. &uot;It hasn’t been bad today,&uot; Mosciano said Thursday.

&uot;There’s been a nice breeze. It’s still warm out here, but it’s manageable.&uot;

Still, players have to stay hydrated, said both Mosciano and Nansemond River head coach Brian Maus.

&uot;Back in the day, we were told that water made kids weak,&uot; said Maus, &uot;but today’s technology and medicine have told us that the main thing that kids need is lots of water. We give them water every 20 minutes.&uot;

&uot;We always keep kids hydrated and wet,&uot; said Mosciano. &uot;But they can’t drink too much, or it comes right back up.&uot;

Water isn’t the solution to every problem, as Mosciano helps junior varsity right tackle Andre Skinner find out a few minutes later.

&uot;What did you eat today?&uot; Mosciano asks Skinner, who staggered over to his tent complaining of fatigue and an upset stomach.

&uot;Just breakfast,&uot; said the King’s Fork Middle School student. &uot;I didn’t have lunch, because I wasn’t hungry after I worked out today.&uot;

&uot;Well, you have to eat every meal,&uot; said the trainer. &uot;Not eating every meal and coming out here is like running a car on empty.&uot;