Friday Night Football In E. TN Heat

Knoxville (WVLT) - High schools across East Tennessee kicked off their football seasons in 90 plus degree weather Friday night.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford caught up with fans sweating it out a the Catholic-Morristown-West game.

Fans we spoke with say they've never been to a football game as hot as tonight's, but despite the grueling temperatures, fans say they couldn't be more excited for football season.

"It's wonderful. The atmosphere is just football, football," Catholic mascot Kelly Shipe said.

Tonight it's the Knoxville Catholic Irish versus the Morristown-West Trojans, and Catholic's mascot Kelly Shipe is probably the most uncomfortable fan out here.

"Really hot! Especially in a wool kilt and wool socks!" Shipe said.

And the heat doesn't stop with her costume.

"When you blow the air in the pipes, you get this hot feeling from the bagpipes, too, so it's just like a heater," Shipe said.

Decked out students like Parker Proctor are sweating their paint off.

"This is like a shell. It just keeps everything in. It's real hot," Proctor said.

Proctor says it's well above 90-degrees out here...

"Like a thousand, give or take--give or take ten," Proctor said.

Ok, maybe not quite a thousand degrees, but fans say it definitely doesn't feel like football season.

"The last game I played for them, it was freezing cold," Shipe said.

"It's as bad as I can remember and I played and coached for a long time," UT alum Tim Irwin said.

UT football alum Tim Irwin is sweating it out to watch his son play for Catholic.

"They're warm, but we take every precaution to hydrate them--lots of Gatorade, lots of fluids," Irwin said.

The concession stand is keeping fans hydrated, as well.

"We've sold about 32 cases of water, 25 cases of Powerade, 11-1400 pounds of ice we've gone through," said Ken Antunes from the Catholic Concession stand.

And that's only at the start of the second quarter. Some say you have keep the fluids up to cheer like these guys.

"They're dedicated fans. They're like UT fans," Shipe said.

Through all the sweat, their school spirit shines.

"Everybody's excited here. This is a football school and we're very excited about the season," Irwin said.

We checked with multiple counties across East Tennessee and no high schools had any heat-related injuries to report.


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