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      Despite heat wave, football practice continues

      California Pintos players cool off during pratice, while temperatures on the field continue to rise.
      Football teams across mid-Missouri press on with their practice, even in 95-degree heat. All of the players wear full football pads despite roasting temperatures. One athletic director said this year poses a moderate risk to players. "The trouble is, we've had a cool summer so the kids haven't gotten acclimated to the heat," said Bob Staton, Athletic Director for California High School. "So, we're letting them do things that we don't always do in school, like carry water with them during the day, in the classroom." Practice will go on, but some games times will be change. The California Pintos' Friday night game against the Boonville Pirates will move from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. "There's a big difference on that artificial turf between 7 and 8 o'clock," Staton said. "It will cool off quite a bit, so the temperatures on the field will be lower." Since artificial turf isn't real grass, it doesn't absorb heat as well but reflects it back up to the players... turning the football field into a heat island. Players are taking special precautions in order to beat the heat. Offensive tackle Alexx Lewis says the secret to his success is persistence, and lots of water. "The coaches give us quite a few water breaks, and we like to dunk our heads under the water spigots, keep cool," Lewis said. "We have some cold water, it usually helps a lot." Station says thanks to everyone's vigilance, not a single player at California High has suffered from heat exhaustion during the hottest week of summer.