Local marching bands brave heat advisory to prepare for season

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SHERMAN, TX -- Despite the heat advisory, the show must go on for local high school teams and marching bands.They're busy preparing for the season -- that's quickly approaching.

Sherman high school practices on a concrete football field, which gets up to 119 degrees at mid-field.

But drum major Margaret Mealy said it's not as bad as it sounds.

"A lot of band parents bring out big ice chest with ice and water and some people like to dunk their hats in them," she said.

Director Ryan Jenkins said they take frequent water breaks.

"We have to make sure that they're well hydrated," he said. "We have to make sure the body isn't overheated."

Jenkins said while it can get brutal, it's something every band faces.

"You know it's coming. We had such a beautiful summer this year. It's probably the best that I can remember since I moved to Sherman 10 years ago," he said. "Yet as soon as we started, it was 100 degrees that day."

Most of Texoma was under a heat advisory Wednesday, with the heat index reaching 110 in some areas.

Dr. William Entriken, with TMC emergency medicine, said they see a high number of patients admitted with heat exhaustion this time of year.

"They think that they can make it without hydration or can stick with what they normally drink," he said.

He said a common mistake is not adjusting your routine...despite the extreme weather conditions.

"And they think they're drinking constantly, and they stay out in the heat too long for an extended period of time," Entriken said.

But at band camp, the kids are staying hydrated - and aren't letting the heat slow them down.

"There's been a nice breeze all day, we've taken lots of water breaks, and put on sun screen," said trumpet player Sarah Walker.

Jenkins said the high temps at the beginning of the season work like conditioning training.

"If they're used to this now, they'll think that any temperature breakdown later is a dream and will make them that much easier to work with," he said.

But as they dunk their t-shirts and instruments in ice water, they've already got Friday nights on their minds.

"When we get out there on Friday, and it's under the lights and the football stadium, and it's nice and cool, all the work we've done in the past week builds up to that," Mealy said.

Jenkins said they're eligible to compete in state this year and that's keeping them motivated no matter how hot it gets.

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