CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The high-rising heat index can make temperatures feel brutal in South Texas, but London High School's baseball team has found smart ways to beat the heat while training for the school's historic appearance at the state tournament.
The young athletes will head to Round Rock on Thursday, having qualified for the UIL Class 3A state tournament.
Their game is scheduled for 9 a.m. The Pirates generally play evening games.
“The very first thing we decided was, let’s bring these kids in as early as possible or get their bodies accumulated to getting up early and stuff like that, so that’s the main thing," said London head baseball coach Kevin Carr. "And, of course, the heat.”
Beating the heat during practice can help the players avoid dehydration.
“This is like a dress rehearsal for us, so we’re trying to get them and make sure to understand the importance of hydration the night before," he said. "And, if they feel sluggish in the practices, that they're not doing a good job with the hydration, so hopefully, by Friday, we have it figured out and ready to go.”
Many of the athletes said they don't mind practicing early in the morning.
“Feels fine -- it’s good practice this early in the morning to get ready for the game,” said catcher Jayden Martinez.
Players said drinking water and taking good care of themselves is a huge help, too.
“Yeah, we need to stay hydrated; especially as a catcher -- just keep drinking a lot of water,” Martinez said.
This also will help them perform better on the field.
“I try to be able to stay hydrated, get a good night's sleep, and then come ready to play,” said utility player/DH Joel Benavides.
The London community will come together to send the baseball team off at 10 a.m. Thursday.