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CANTON: Football team beats heat with early practice | News

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CANTON: Football team beats heat with early practice
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CANTON, Ga. -- The football team at Creekview High School in Canton started practice extra early at 6 a.m. Wednesday to keep players out of the mid-day heat.

Two hours after practice ended, the Cherokee County School District cancelled all outdoor activities between noon and 6 p.m. because of the anticipated high heat index for the day. Cobb County Schools, who aren't back in session yet, joined them.

"We decided to move practice to the morning to go through a full practice with helmets and shoulder pads," said Creekview's head football coach Al Morrell.

The team tried to practice after school on Monday, but it was so hot outside that players had to move to the cafeteria.

"Walking out here, we were sweating," said Creekview quarterback Hayden Hall, a junior. "It was bad so we had to go back and practice inside."

At the start of practice, the temperature was 74 degrees. It's expected to be at least 20 degrees higher by mid-afternoon.

"This is the coolest time to practice," said Creekview Athletic Director Charlie Beverly. He said the coaches at all Cherokee County schools measure the temperature and humidity using psycrometers.

A reading of 82 or higher means practice has to be cancelled. The reading on Monday afternoon was 80 at Creekview.

Even in the relatively cooler morning temperatures, the coaches gave players extra water breaks to keep their bodies from overheating.

"This is serious stuff," said parent Phil Peppers. "I'm glad the coaches are taking care of the safety of the kids. It's important in this game."

The early morning pratices will continue through the week and into next week depending on the forecast.

The marching band and softball team are expected to practice after 6 p.m. 

Chattahoochee High School in Fulton County scheduled practice even earlier at 5:30 a.m.

Some other schools have pushed their start-times back as late as 9 p.m. to avoid the heat.

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