The tragic deaths of two Georgia teenagers in the opening days of August led a number of different Georgia school districts to ban all outdoor activities during the day. No such measures were necessary at one Texas school, despite afternoon temperatures and heat indexes significantly higher than those facing the Georgia schools which suspended traditional activities.
As laid out by the Dallas Morning News, the 6 a.m. start time is a hard deadline for DeSoto players, too. Student athletes are expected to be on the field before the first whistle, which has created the rather surreal summer scene of seeing players lined up outside the school's field house at 5:30 a.m.
DeSoto isn't the only school with brutally early practices in the state of Texas, either: Arlington (Texas) Martin High is also kicking off its first session of two-a-days at 6 a.m. and aims to wrap up its second sessions at 12:30 p.m. each afternoon.
Before you feel sorry for the DeSoto players, take even more pity on the school's coaching staff. Eagles coaches are reportedly arriving for the morning practices starting at 3:30 a.m.
"The coaches, we've been up since 3:30,'' DeSoto head coach Claude Mathis told the Morning News. "It's going to be a long day.''
While the early practices are keeping the program from working out in the hottest stretch of the Texas day, it hasn't completely eliminated hot weather workouts for the Eagles. The team is still in the midst of two-a-days, and DeSoto's second daily practice begins at 11 a.m. and lasts until roughly 1 p.m.
That's plenty of time for players to work up a sweat in the sun, but it certainly beats working out in the middle of the afternoon, when temperatures alone often reach 105 and higher.
For their part, the DeSoto players seem to be taking the new practice schedule in stride, even if they might be left a bit groggy by dinner time.
"It was 4 o'clock when I got up,'' DeSoto senior offensive lineman Curtis Riser, a Texas commitment, told the Morning News. "I got up here around 4:45. "I've been looking forward to it. ... I miss football."