The Southwest Elite presented by Walmart held its 7-on-7 football tournament at Shiloh Christian School in Springdale. Volunteers provided water and Gatorade at the two-day event.
The tents were available to players in between games but on the field volunteers gave players quick water breaks. Twelve-year old Trace Vitt carried a backpack and a water bottle in hand as he made his way through the sidelines.
“Every time we come off the field, he hands us a bottle of water,” said his older brother Gus Vitt. “He doesn’t know that’s a big deal.”
With 32 teams in the tournament, staying hydrated is a must.
“You don’t play with heat exhaustion and I wouldn’t be able to finish the rest of the day,” Gus Vitt said.
Gus Vitt said he’s been dehydrated before. He said he remembers feeling weak and light headed.
“One big clue for me is that if I’m not sweating enough, then I know I don’t have enough water in me,” Gus Vitt said.
Har-Ber High School wide receiver Matt Garrison said during games, winning is the priority.
“That’s the last thing you are thinking about is the heat,” Garrison said.
Heat and humidity can lead to physical dangers such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
“I’ve seen people to where they can’t even function but the heat can get to you,” Garrison said.
There are water and Gatorade stations throughout the fields at Shiloh Christian.
“In between games you can go to any tent and get a drink real quick and our coaches push us to drink more and more,” said Camden Scott, wide receiver.
Trace Vitt has no idea the difference he makes in the team’s performance and more importantly their health.
“He just brings up a bottle of water and we down it real quick and feel fine. I haven’t gotten any symptoms yet and no one here has and hopefully that continues,” Gus Vitt said.
Gatorade and water were provided to the teams and the public for free.