FanDuel - WFBC

August 03, 2011

Heat Kills High School Football Coach in Texas: An assistant high school coach in Plano, Texas, died after collapsing during practice Monday. Wade McClain, 55, was stricken on the football field at Prestonwood Christian Academy during the first day of practice. The cause of death was heart issues related to heat exposure. Temperatures in the Dallas-Fort Worth area hit 107 degrees that day and have been above 100 for weeks.

posted by rcade to football at 11:45 AM - 14 comments

Sad to see this happen.

The article states that many Dallas area schools are continuing with 2-a-day practices. I wonder if that is true, the schools in my immediate area just started football on Monday, and I know most schools are not going to 2-a-days, and, in fact limited practice to just an early morning workout. I would hope no coach feels compelled to torture the kids, and themselves, just for the sake of high school football.

posted by dviking at 01:02 PM on August 03

A MetaFilter post today is about killing heat. Two Georgia teens have died already from practicing football.

Relatives from Dallas tell me teams all over the area are practicing in the heat. That seems completely insane to me. The area's in the middle of a historic heat wave.

posted by rcade at 02:15 PM on August 03

The article states that many Dallas area schools are continuing with 2-a-day practices.

Unless you radically redefine 2-a-days, I have a hard time seeing this as anything other than insane. Humans aren't meant to do that kind of exertion in that kind of heat.

The area's in the middle of a historic heat wave.

Yes, and I believe I heard that it's not expected to let up during the month of August. Given that these conditions are historically unknown, doesn't it seem like everything that is "known" about how to do workouts in the heat is no longer valid?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:39 PM on August 03

One of my nephew's HS is doing midnight practices here in NC.

posted by NoMich at 05:11 PM on August 03

Frontline did a very good episode on this which I watched last night, also covers head injuries in High School football. There's a good heat stroke interview associated with the show here.

posted by rumple at 06:31 PM on August 03

This is unfortunate, no question, but let's not start labeling high school football practices as "insane" acts. The heat this year is undoubtedly tied to the more significant climactic anomaly: the drought.

That said, these temperatures are not uncommon for this area during the summer. I went to school in a small town in central Texas and can recall a year where, due to renovations, the start of school was postponed for two weeks. Consequently, 2-a-days lasted for the entire month of August. The heat index that year was, on many occasions, in excess of 110. We lived.

It's a sad event, but hasn't our society created enough restrictions (that affect the greater majority) designed to target the smallest segment of the population? Let's not take aspirin off the shelf because 1 in 100,000,000 has an allergic reaction.

posted by SooperJeenyus at 11:20 AM on August 04

Football ain't aspirin. And, two-a-days are not an essential part of football.

posted by bperk at 11:29 AM on August 04

The heat this year is undoubtedly tied to the more significant climactic anomaly: the drought.

Can you expand on this point?

posted by yerfatma at 11:40 AM on August 04

One of my nephew's HS is doing midnight practices here in NC.

Well, it is also Ramadan.

posted by bender at 12:24 PM on August 04

This is unfortunate, no question, but let's not start labeling high school football practices as "insane" acts.

Okay, let's not. Nobody did. I did label 2-a-days in the kind of heat Texas has been experiencing as "insane". There's a difference between that and "high school football practices".

It's a sad event, but hasn't our society created enough restrictions (that affect the greater majority) designed to target the smallest segment of the population?

Oh my god, it's the nose of the elephant coming through the door. High schools make the sane and sensible decision not to hold 2-a-days in 110-degree heat, and the next thing you know, no kid is allowed to touch a football.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:09 PM on August 04

Consequently, 2-a-days lasted for the entire month of August. The heat index that year was, on many occasions, in excess of 110. We lived.

I'll bet that if every team in the country did that during that kind of heat, not everyone would live.

People drive around without seat belts, and they live. It still means it's a stupid idea and taking an unnecessary risk.

posted by grum@work at 02:21 PM on August 04

Football ain't aspirin. And, two-a-days are not an essential part of football.

I'm not a coach but if I were, and my livlihood depended on preparing teenagers who haven't done anything remotely active for an entire summer let alone practice football since the previous fall, I might disagree.

Can you expand on this point?

Gladly. Water has the highest specific heat value of any compound known to man. Meaning, it requires more energy to raise or lower the temperature of water than other substance we know of. This is the reason the earth is inhabitable. Because our planet is covered in water, the temperature of our planet is stable enough to sustain life. The recent lack of moisture across the state is undoubtedly tied to the elevated temperatures.

There's a difference between that and "high school football practices".

High school football practices have been held during this time of year for decades. You don't think, possibly, the recent attention given to these events is somehow correlated with the increase in sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and overall decrease in the physical fitness level of America's youth, do you?


I'll bet that if every team in the country did that during that kind of heat, not everyone would live.

Agreed. In fact, I'll bet we can come up with a tremendous list of activities that, if everyone in the country participated in, would result in negative consequences or even death.

posted by SooperJeenyus at 10:45 AM on August 05

High school football practices have been held during this time of year for decades.

And because something has been done for decades, that makes it a good idea? By that logic, there are any number of stupid, reprehensible practices that should be preserved or revived.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:23 PM on August 05

You don't think, possibly, the recent attention given to these events is somehow correlated with the increase in sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and overall decrease in the physical fitness level of America's youth, do you?

Actually, I think the recent attention given to these events is somehow correlated to the recent attention given to these events.

In other words, when Korey Stringer died from (complications from) heat stroke, the 24-hour voracious "news" media started reporting on every single occurrence around the US. This is the exact same thing that happened with the "Summer of the Shark Attack".

I'd be very surprised if the incidents of heat stroke injury/death are any higher than they were 20-30 years ago (as a ratio of players per practice per day per "high temperature event"). There are probably more players practicing more often in more "hot" days than before, but I'm thinking that medical procedures and advancement in knowledge of heat strokes has probably saved more lives than in the past.

That said, I still think it's insane to hold 2-a-day (or even full length 1-a-day) practices in dramatically high temperature days.

posted by grum@work at 02:26 AM on August 06

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.