State regulations protect athletes in summer heat

New regulations issued by the South Carolina High School League will force coaches to do things a little differently this year.

The regulation mandates practices only last up to three hours in the first week.

After that, five hour practices must be separated by at least two hours of continuous rest.

All to stop the unthinkable.

Underneath the hot summer sun, the Myrtle Beach High School football team soaked in their first day of practice.

And even at 8 a.m. Friday, 90 plus degree temperatures showed the meaning of the dog days.

"It's extremely hot out here," said head coach Mickey Wilson.

"I'm not doing anything out here, and I'm sweating like a pig," said athletic trainer Jim Berry.

Berry kept a close eye throughout the two hour practice on the athletes but also the coaches.

"The days of coaches going out and having a marathon practice for five or six hours isn't going to happen anymore," said Berry.

Wilson believes the transition to the new mandate won't be hard for his team because they've already made steps by taking away two-a-days and long practices.

"We believe, if you can't get it in for two hours, you're not going to get it in," said Wilson.

But Berry thinks it may be tougher for some schools to follow.

"There's always going to be people that are going to say well back in the day when I played football we practiced for eight hours a day and we needed one water break," said Berry. "Well that's all well and good, but this is a different day in time because you're going to get in trouble."

Small measures to take ahead of time to prevent major tragedies.

"Is it really worth a kids life? Is it really worth it? It's not," said Berry. "Especially something like this that is preventable. It's completely and entirely preventable."