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News Maryland Baltimore County Catonsville

Catonsville copes with the heat

This week's heat and humidity is neither new nor unexpected in Baltimore in July. And like many in the area, those in Catonsville found a way to cope with the scorching temperatures.

Construction worker Kyle Brown prepared for the start of his work week on Monday the same way he prepared for the football and lacrosse camps he attended while a student at Catonsville High.

He froze a gallon jug of water and put it in a five-gallon jug of water.

"If it's four of us working here, we'll easily drink three gallons of it," said Brown, working on the new concession stand at Catonsville High School's stadium on July 15.

"I'd still probably want to work in the heat," he said. "When you get home after a cold day, sometimes I feel like you never warm back up. But if you come home and sit in the air conditioning, it's easy to cool down."

Brown, who played basketball as well as football and lacrosse for the Comets, said he admired the way young kids dealt with the blistering conditions during a morning youth soccer camp on the turf field nearby.

"When I was in camps here, it was grass," he said 'I'm sure it's at least 10 degrees warmer on turf. Those little kids playing soccer today had to have been hot."

A short drive from high school's Bloomsbury Avenue campus, high school lacrosse prospects were playing at a college recruiting camp on the turf and grass fields at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus.

Among those on the Rochester Blaze who had made the trip south from New York for the four-day camp was rising junior Tommy Bell, who admitted he was feeling the heat.

"I'm a lot more tired," he said. "I've played in hot weather, but not in this humidity."

His dad, Tom Bell, had lathered on the suntan lotion and taken the proper preparations to help his son and his teammates cope with the steaming conditions.

"We have a lot of water and we make sure the kids have Gatorade," said Bell, adding he had learned temperatures were supposed to be in the 90s back home in Rochester on Monday.

Out on the field, referee Darby Boyle bounced off the lacrosse field without showing any signs of feeling the heat. The veteran official of 22 years had prepared for such conditions well in advance.

"This is normal stuff," said the Hunt Valley resident. "You get in shape in January so by the time this hits, you've already done everything you need to do to get in shape."

Boyle said he had talked to one of the fathers of a player on the Rochester Blaze and was told that, 'if we had this heat index like this up there we aren't even allowed on the field.'

The players get frequent water breaks during the games, which are broken up into four 10-minute quarters.

"We have a break right now, from 2 to 3 (p.m.) when it is real hot and we're off and there is nobody who is going to play until 3, and that's just for the heat," Boyle said. "(UMBC) Coach (Don) Zimmerman is smart about the whole thing and they have been doing it that way for a long time."

But for many, the best way to cope was to stay inside. The tennis and outdoor basketball courts were vacant during a sultry Monday afternoon.

Temperatures are expected to reach the mid- to upper-90s for the rest of the week.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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