team a water break every 30 minutes during both two-hour sessions,
making sure no one got dehydrated during what is known as "Hell
"Nothing is different," said Phan, who is in his fourth year
coaching the Nitro varsity team, following numerous stints at the
Of course, it was the same scenario last year, when tragedy nearly
Then 14-year-old sophomore Jason Chamberlin collapsed on the first
day of practice on the morning of Aug. 21, and was taken to the
hospital with a temperature of 107 degrees.
The 285-pound lineman suffered a heatstroke, and, according to
doctors, momentarily stopped breathing.
Chamberlin, who stands at 6 feet 2 and 315 pounds, has recovered
from the episode, and is one of the strongest players on the team --
lifting more than 1,500 pounds on the bench press, squat, clean and
jerk and dead lift -- and penciled in to be the starting left tackle.
The soon-to-be 16-year-old was in attendance Wednesday, and just
like the rest of his teammates, went through the first day of
practice without any problems.
"Last year was just one of those things that you can't control,"
Phan said. "I guess you can call it a fluke. We didn't change
anything because of it, because what more can we do?"
Said Mark Walters, a 6-2, 305-pound junior offensive lineman: "We
don't even think about stuff like that. We just go out there and do
The key, Phan and the players say, is being in shape coming into
camp to handle the brutal running schedule.
The morning session -- which goes from 8 to 10 a.m. -- usually
tends to focus more on speed drills, since it is cooler, and the late
afternoon session (4 to 6 p.m.) focuses more on cardiovascular
Phan said most of his players ran on their own during the nearly
one-month break they had, so they are in shape.
"It's a matter of coming in in shape," said senior wide receiver
Oscar Larios, who missed most of last season with a torn anterior
cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Added senior linebacker Rick Martin: "If you ran during the dead
period, you'll be all right. All the players know what to expect."
Four of the remaining five area football teams start their first
day of two-a-days Monday, with St. Francis -- which begins today --
being the lone exception.
Since Glendale ended its summer July 23, a week ahead of other CIF
schools, it served its required 21-day dead period and started
Wednesday, 27 days after its last summer practice.