Wolverines adapt practice to beat the heat

Henry Vogel

Triple digit heat in the San Fernando Valley that caused the Los Angeles Unified School District to cancel practices and games Sept. 15 did not deter the Wolverine football and water polo teams from practicing, but they took measures to stay as cool as possible.

The LAUSD’s ruling pertains only to public schools, so each Harvard-Westlake team had the choice of holding practice or not.

The football team delayed practice until after 4 p.m. to allow the temperature to drop and then practiced for only 90 minutes with frequent water breaks, Head of Athletics Terry Barnum said.

The field was watered down before the practice and the players wore only shoulder pads and helmets to help prevent heat illness. The players were allowed to get water between official water breaks as often as was needed, defensive lineman and wide receiver Brendan Sanderson ’16 said.

All conditioning was eliminated, Barnum said.

“It wasn’t really that bad. It can be worse in the summer,” Sanderson said. “The heat definitely made practice a bit harder and wore the team down more than usual though.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that public school football teams were not allowed to practice outside unless they received special permission from their local school operations administrator to change the practice time to the evening hours.

The water polo team practiced based on the idea that the heat doesn’t affect them nearly as much as other sports because they are in the pool, varsity water polo player Davis Wachtell ’16 said.

“The pool was not hot,” Wachtell said. “So it was way better than being outside.”

The tennis team cancelled practice.