Staff Photos: Jason Braverman. Dacula senior Trevor Walker cools off during football practice with a splash of water to the face.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- As mercury levels rise this week, Central Gwinnett Head Coach Todd Wofford is keeping a close eye on his players.
In fact, the Black Knights are taking the field as early as 6 a.m. today during the first week of training.
When it's this hot outside, drills before sunrise don't seem like a bad idea.
Like the local football team, athletes, band members and others around Gwinnett County will have to tackle the heat in coming weeks as temperatures inch toward 100 degrees.
"They're saying it's supposed to be really hot on Wednesday," Wofford said. "I don't believe I remember it being this hot off the top of my head."
Wofford's memory serves him well.
With mid-week predictions topping off at 99 degrees in nearby areas, local forecaster Jon Richards said temperatures are nearly 10 degrees hotter than normal for early August.
Unfortunately, there's little heat relief forecasted on the horizon.
Richards said the outlook for the month of August "continues to call for warmer than normal weather."
The forecast is for drier weather through Thursday with less humidity, Richards said. A chance of thunderstorms is forecasted for late Thursday as well, but no relief from the heat is likely.
Wofford said there's only two things you can do when it gets this hot: "Practice early or practice late. It's just too hot to go out there in the afternoon."
A spokesman with Gwinnett County Public Schools agreed.
"Our schools for the most part schedule practices either very early in the morning or in the evening for that very reason -- the heat," Jorge Quintana said.
"In addition, the school district has a process in place that our teachers and coaches follow for the safety and well-being of our students when practicing under extreme heat," Quintana said.
Depending on how hot it gets outside, schools can alter or cancel activities, he added.