HOUSE SPRINGS, MO - Even with the oppressive heat gripping the St. Louis region, some area sport camps were carrying on with outdoor practice.
Andy Lenzen, Director for Northwest Jr. Football said that the camp is preparing its athletes to play the sport once they get to high school. He said the goal is to also get them acclimated to various weather conditions. Lanzen added that none of it happens without proper safety measures in place.
"I think the game is safer now than it's ever been," Lenzen said, "we don't put any kid at any risk. One of the things we are looking for is lethargic kids that are having trouble and kids that are not doing what they normally would do."
Lenzen went on to say that he is aware there are some questions as to why camp is still being held in the hot and steamy weather.
"The season is soon upon us and we have these conditions every year," he explained, "this is not an abnormal thing."
Lenzen said that though the camp does not include high school athletes, it follows heat related guidelines recommended by the Missouri State High Schools Activities Association.
According to the association's website:
If heat index is between 95 and 105 degrees, plans should be implemented to alter practiced conditions. That includes longer water breaks, more shade or moving the event to later in the day.
If heat index is over 105 degrees, plans to postpone or reschedule practice should be put in place.
Meanwhile, some parents like Jen Friebel said that she's not too worried, knowing that her son is in good hands.
"I could tell even last year being a first-year mom with this that it was a little bit scary but I saw how much my son loved it," Friebel said.
Lenzen said that Thursday's practice will be canceled as a precaution.