Wildcats move practice inside --
In theory, high school football teams in Tennessee have donned "uppers", headgear and shoulder pads in order to acclimate the players to the oppressive heat and humidity that is our July weather.
The only problem with this theory is the oppressive heat and humidity.
Case in point -- Wilson Central, and several other local teams, were forced to practice inside Monday afternoon as the heat index hovered near 104.
The Wildcats gathered in the fieldhouse for weight lifting at 4 p.m., put on the pads, then sixth year head coach Brad Dedman checked one more time with Certified Athletic Trainer James Tapia before moving his charges inside the air conditioned gymnasium.
"We're mandated to get the athletes out of the heat when the index reaches 104," said Tapia.
The heat index reflects the air temperature and the relative humidity -- sometimes known as the "feels like" number on TV weather reports.
"As much as we need to get our guys out in the heat in order to prepare for the season, we've got to make sure we keep them safe," Coach Dedman said.
"We can work on timing, repping our offense, recognition of sets with our defense and 'thudding up' inside. It's not like going at it on the practice field, but it's something everyone has to deal with this time of year."
"Once it cools off enough, we'll take 'em outside, get the helmets and shoulder pads off and condition some. Everyone is supposed to be hydrating and we've got plenty of water on hand. James does a great job of helping keep an eye on our guys. "
TSSAA regulations allow only helmets and shoulder pads for the players until full pad workouts crank up beginning Monday, July 27.
The 'Cats open the 2015 season Friday, Aug. 21 at home against the Beech High Buccaneers. Wilson Central is coming off a 4-6 record in 2014.