Heat strikes one player


lightning disrupts openers

September 04, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

At least one high school football player was overcome by the oppressive heat yesterday on a sweltering opening day for high school football season.

Eric Jones, a fullback for Bowie, collapsed near the sidelines during the second quarter of his team's contest against host C. Milton Wright in Harford County. Jones spent 20 minutes on the sidelines with a doctor before walking to an ambulance under his own power. He was taken to Fallston General Hospital, where nursing supervisor Pat Magnes said late last night he was being treated.

Despite yesterday's sweltering temperatures, it was lightning that proved to be the greatest menace to the opening night of football.

At least three games were postponed because conditions were deemed unsafe, including two in Carroll County.

The game between North Carroll and Francis Scott Key was postponed until 7 tonight after lightning knocked out a bank of stadium lights, and the Woodlawn-Westminster game was pushed back to 7:30 tonight.

In Anne Arundel County, the game between Laurel and Meade was stopped with nine minutes remaining in the second quarter and Laurel ahead, 7-6. It will be resumed at 2 p.m. today.

Also because of lightning last night, the start of the Glenelg-Liberty game was delayed two hours. Play was interrupted, but later resumed, in Wilde Lake's game at South Carroll game.

No postponements were reported because of the heat, though afternoon games were played in conditions resembling a sauna.

"We didn't have any problems and I don't think the heat was a factor," said Eastern Technical coach Jim Salters, whose team defeated Northern, 28-0. "We work a lot in this kind of weather during two-a-days. We practice during the hottest time of the day, just to get used to it. And we run a lot.

"Our kids are in pretty good shape, and I had them going to the water fountain in the locker room. I told them to drink a lot of water because of the humidity.

"It was smothering, and the field was dry as a bone," Salters said. "By the end of the game, their uniforms looked muddy from the sweat and the dust."

At the City-Douglass game, officials stopped play before the conclusion of each half to allow for water breaks. City coach George Petrides had a hose running near his team's bench for anyone who was thirsty.

There were other ways to beat the heat.

Jim Diggs, a commissioner for local football officials, said referees in charge of each game allotted teams an unlimited number of timeouts, instead of the usual three per half.

"We'll grant them whatever timeouts they need to cope with the heat," he said.

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