The high temperature this week was a blistering 108 degrees.

Forecasts for Monday - when close to 200 Stephenville football players kick off two weeks of two-a-day practices - show no signs of relief with a predicted high of 106.

While area schools such as Dublin, Hico and Lingleville are already dealing with the heat - which has reached triple digits even during morning workouts - Stephenville head athletic trainer and assistant athletic director Mike Carroll is preparing to do the same.

"This is obviously an unbelievably hot year, as hot as any we've had in the 21 years I've been doing this," said Carroll. "I'm very concerned from the standpoint of there being a fine line between getting things done while being smart with the way you do it, and it getting to the point where you just shouldn't be out there."

Carroll and his staff, which includes assistant athletic trainer Kendall Goldberg and a number of student athletic trainers, are taking all the normal precautions and are going above and beyond with preventative and emergency measures.

"We will have unlimited water before, during and after practice," said Carroll. "We'll also weigh everybody in and out of each practice, and anyone who loses 3 percent of their body weight has to gain it back before we let them go back out there."

Carroll said with careful planning and teamwork on the part of athletic trainers, coaches, parents and, most importantly, the athletes, tragedies such as the loss of high school players in Georgia and South Carolina and a coach at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano can be avoided.

"All heat deaths are 100 percent preventable, we just have to be smart about it," Carroll said. "If there's any question with a kid, we'll pull him out. We'll have ice baths and other treatments available."

Carroll stressed the importance of all coaches and athletic trainers keeping a close eye on players.

"(Goldberg) and I are just two sets of eyes, it's impossible for us to keep a close watch on 200 kids," he said. "I can't stress enough how important it is that all of our student athletic trainers and our coaches help us watch for any signs of kids struggling with the heat. It's going to take a team effort."

Carroll says parents can play a major role in preventing heat related illness.

"Parents need to be sure the kids are avoiding fried foods, carbonated and caffeinated drinks and anything like Monsters and Red Bulls," he said. "Energy drinks are awful, awful, awful, especially at this time of year."

The "don't" list, says Carroll, also includes soda, tea and any juices that are carbonated or contain sugar, and any foods with high amounts of fat or sugar content.

"The body just can't break down fatty foods in time to use them for energy," Carroll said.

Breakfast, Carroll stressed, is the most important meal of the day.

"Typically, the kids who have problems are the ones who rolled out of bed at 6:45 and are on the practice field at 7 having eaten nothing," he said. "That, or they come in to practice after drinking a glass of milk and eating a sausage biscuit. If you do that, you're setting yourself up for failure."

Carroll suggests breakfast foods that are light and easily digestible such as small breakfast burritos or pancakes.

"In a perfect world, the kids will eat 45 minutes beforehand and stay away from greasy bacon or sausage," he said.

For dinner, he suggests pasta, baked chicken, baked potatoes and vegetables, while snacks should consist of fruit.

"Stay away from fast food restaurants, during two-a-days especially," he added.

Above all else, Carroll stressed hydration and rest.

"I tell kids right now they can't drink too much water," he said. "As long as its water or an electrolyte drink such as Gatorade or Powerade, it's fine."

Carroll says urine color is a good sign of hydration level.

"Make sure you're hydrating. If the urine looks like apple juice, or darker, you're dehydrated, and that's very bad," he said. "If you don't have enough fluid in your body, your internal organs start shutting down and that's what ends up killing people.

"Your body is like car engine," he added. "If your engine doesn't have fuel and oil it doesn't run. Your body is the same way. It has to have to have the right kind of fuel to perform at its best."

After practices, athletes are encouraged to rest indoors out of the heat.

"Kids need to be inside resting, letting their bodies cool down," Carroll said. "The body accumulates heat, and if it is unable to dissipate the heat before you go back out, you're setting yourself up for disaster."

And disaster is what Carroll and his staff are planning to avoid.

"We're going to do everything we can to keep these kids hydrated and rested, but we can't watch them all the time," he stressed again. "If everyone will work together, we can keep our kids safe and on the field getting ready for the season."