SHERMAN, TX - Temperatures have been in the triple-digits for over a month here in Texoma, and the Sherman High School Bearcat Band has been practicing out in the sun for the past two weeks. Victoria Maranan tells us how they try to keep their cool.
Trumpets blared at Sherman High School Friday morning as the Bearcat marching band practiced under the scorching sun. Band director Ryan Jenkins says they started rehearsing on schedule despite the 100-degree heat.
"Unfortunately, calendar dates don't change for us. Football season starts just like any other. You know you have to roll with the punches. I don't know if it's ever been this hot but I think the kids will agree that 105 to 110 kind of feels the same after awhile," band director Ryan Jenkins says.
High school senior and head drum major Keven Syler has been in band since she was a freshman. She says it's never been this hot during band camp.
"It's very, very hot, but it's not so bad because our band moms bring us popsicles, they bring us coolers with ice water in it and stuff like that. We dip t-shirts in it and put it around our necks, so it's really nice. They give us lost of water breaks but we kind of just work through it," Syler says.
From their respective platforms, both Syler and Jenkins not only direct the band, but also watch for heat exhaustion.
"We monitor their faces. More often than not, you can tell that a child's in stress because of how they look. They tend to develop a glassy look in their eyes, and that's the time to get them inside and cool off as fast as possible," Jenkins says.
"Yeah, that happens occasionally. That usually happens in the first few days. People, when we stand at attention, in our marching blocks, they tend to lock their knees and then they're a little woozy so we have to take them over to the side and make them drink water."
Practicing outside for a couple of hours in 100-degree heat can quickly dehydrate the body. That's why Jenkins gives students more water breaks.
"When we have a rehearsal of this length, we have to make sure that we give them very consistent breaks. They have to be within 15 minutes of each other or their bodies will start to overheat," Jenkins says.