Student athletes head back to the field after KHSAA dead period

At Male High School, the football team returned to practice on Monday.
Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 5:10 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky High School Athletics Association dead period ended as of Monday.

Fall sports athletes are heading back to their respective fields, but their first opponent will be the summer heat.

There are plenty of safety steps school districts are required to take.

At Male High School, the football team returned to practice on Monday.

Males’ head athletic trainer, Ryan Dawson, was on hand to make sure every protocol was followed, and the athletes were protected from the heat.

One of the things he’s constantly looking at is his heat index gauge. Dawson said at a heat index of 95, more water breaks become mandatory.

At 100, any kind of pads come off. Any heat index 104 and up, practice will get canceled altogether.

Despite not meeting any of those thresholds Monday, Dawson was still there, like he is every day, keeping an eye out for signs of dehydration, exhaustion, and heat stroke.

It’s a list of responsibilities he takes to heart.

”I’ve watched these kids from the time they were a freshman to the time they become a senior,” Dawson said. “It’s very personal. Coming out here, I don’t have 800 athletes. I have 800 kids with parents and families who I am responsible for looking out for.”

Dawson said he’s also the point person in the event of any medical emergency, so he has to be there in case anything else goes wrong.

As for the Bulldogs, their first football game is Sept. 5 against Highlands.

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