A Florida teen died this week after collapsing during football conditioning drills at the high school he was to attend next year — prompting a district-wide halt of all athletic activities to review safety procedures, officials said.
Hezekiah Walters, a 14-year-old incoming freshman at Middleton High School in Tampa, fell to the ground on Tuesday, about 30 to 40 minutes into conditioning drills, which included weight training and sprints, WFLA reports.
Police and school officials said Hezekiah and other students were given water breaks during the afternoon practice. Temperatures at the time hovered at about 88 degrees, but it felt closer to 100 degrees thanks to a high dew point, according to the station.
Hezekiah was pronounced dead at a hospital after collapsing. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the teen’s cause of death. A message seeking comment was not immediately returned Thursday.
Hezekiah’s death led district officials to call for a full review of safety procedures related to athletic activities “out of an abundance of caution” at every public school in Hillsborough County, district spokeswoman Tanya Arja said in a statement to The Post.
School coaches must now review those procedures and ensure that every student participating in any athletic activity is medically cleared to do so. Principals must then notify the district that the steps were taken, Arja said.
Photo Credit: WTXL.com