As the Gregory Gorillas and the Avon Pirates kick off in the SoDak Bowl, the players are battling more than just each other on the University of Sioux Falls Football field.
Extreme heat takes a toll on the players on both sides this afternoon, as the intense sun beats down on thick pads and helmets.
"Can't imagine being a football player," Brenda Pudwil said. "I can’t imagine how they must feel all padded up and stuff."
Gregory High School Athletic Director Sherrie Kafka says she's making sure the players drink plenty of fluids.
"They're losing so much water and to avoid cramping as much as we can, we keep them hydrated," Kafka said.
"I'm hoping they stay cool," Pudwil said. "I've noticed a few coaches pouring water over the boys to keep them cool."
To help prevent heat-related illnesses, officials are calling two additional time-outs each half for water breaks. However, it's not just players feeling the unseasonably high temperatures, but fans sitting on aluminum bleachers in the direct sunlight.
"It's warm but the breeze is nice," Brad Kopp said. "As long as the breeze stays up it's pretty good but when the breeze slows down it gets a little warm."