With heavy hearts we report it has happened once again. A death on the football field. In August.
Noah Cornuet, a 16-year-old sophomore from Burrell (Lower Burrell, Pa.)
, collapsed during the first day of practice Wednesday following a round of wind sprints.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
, he walked off the field approximately 6 p.m., fell and was unresponsive to paramedic treatment. After being taken to Allegheny Valley Hospital he was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m.
This was the first of three heat acclimatization practices, according to the newspaper, and temperatures had dipped from the low 80s into the high 70s.
Cornuet, a 6-foot-2, 270-pound lineman and wrestler at the school, has been described as soft-spoken and respectful.
"He was a respectable young man who would do anything you asked of him," his wrestling coach Chris Como told Pittsburgh television station WPXI
Cornuet's family released this statement: "We are devastated by the sudden loss of our son and brother. We would give anything to have Noah back in our arms. Noah enjoyed the great outdoors, scouting, football and wrestling. There is no one that Noah would not help. He carried his heart on his sleeve. He loved talking about what he did and what his future plans were. He knew we loved him and we trust that Noah is with his grandparents and in the Lord's hands. We would like to thank the Burrell community and everyone for the outpouring of love, comfort and support."
According to WPXI, Noah died from atrial myxomna
, a rare heart tumor.
With temperatures soaring throughout the country, heat stroke is always a concern.
Since 2006, more than 20 high school football players have died from heatstroke to exertion, according to the University of North Carolina's National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research.
There have been numerous programs, rules and regulations released in the last decade to combat the heat, including the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Association, which instituted heat-acclimation sessions in 2013.
One of the most recognized programs – Gatorade's "Beat the Heat"
– is endorsed by the NFL, NBA, MLB and MLS.
According to the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, as many as 70 percent of high school players show up for practice inadequately hydrated. Players can go to Gatorade.com to download the 2014 Heat Safety Kit
for more information.