KAYSVILLE, Utah — School in Utah is still a couple of weeks away from getting underway, but there is plenty of activity going on right now on high school campuses across the state.
Local football teams are already practicing under the hot sun, working to beat the heat and prepare their bodies for the season.
Teams like the one at Davis High School in Kaysville are taking advantage of cool mornings. Early morning practices allow work to be done before the day’s most intense heat.
"We want to save the bodies," said Davis head football coach Scott Perry. "The goal is to not tear the boys down, it's to peak at the optimal performance."
Perry's practices cover the Xs and Os of the game, but that’s just half of his equation.
"There’s a big emphasis on [the players'] nutrition and water intake," added Perry, who said his workouts are all about health and wellness.
When it is hot, there is nothing more important than water. Perry gives his Davis players a three-minute water break at least every 10 minutes to replenish the fluids lost during practice.
"They have a chance to pop their helmet off, get heat out of there, get the water," Perry explained.
The water breaks are also an effective tool to prevent cramping.
"When I would go on a big run it would cramp up in my legs and just tighten up and just slow me down," said Davis player Easton Baggett.
Even with the precautions, if an athlete isn’t feeling well they won’t be put in harm’s way.
"If the kid doesn't look right or whatever, and they will communicate with us, and we have no problem saying go get off there, go talk to a trainer," Perry said.
For the Darts, the run up to the season isn’t a sprint.
"It's like a slow cooker and a microwave," said Perry. "We can’t just microwave this thing, put pads on and go. It's, 'Hey, lets warm things up like a slow cooker.'"
Like the sunrise, Davis said it’s a gradual climb to the peak, making sure everyone is safe and ready for the Friday night lights.
"We are going to work up that hill until we can get them to optimal performance."