Published Wednesday, August 03, 2011

2 Georgia prep football players die; 5 years since last heat death

ATLANTA (AP) -- Two Georgia high school football players have died, one of them after he collapsed while leaving the field after practice.

Until now, there had not been any heat-related deaths of high school football players in Georgia in the past five years, according to the Georgia High School Association.

One of the players, Forrest Jones, a 16-year-old student at Locust Grove High School, died Tuesday night at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, the Henry County schools superintendent's office confirmed Wednesday.

Jones had been hospitalized since Monday when he collapsed while leaving the field. His father, Glenn Jones, says his son "pushed himself too hard" and doctors told him the collapse was heat-related.

Glenn Jones said his son wanted to be a professional football player since he was 10 years old, and he was working hard to try and achieve his goal.

"He wanted to do it for me, so that when I got older he could take care of me," he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In Lake City, Fla. a Georgia teen attending football camp died following practice Tuesday morning.

Don'terio J. Searcy, 16, of Fitzgerald High School was found unresponsive in his cabin, according to authorities in Columbia County, Fla. He was taken to a hospital, where attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

In Georgia, Jones' father sought to warn other athletes about the danger posed by this year's scorching temperatures.

"I just want to get a message to all these kids out there that your body tells you when it needs to rest," he said. "Listen to your body, tell your coaches, tell your parents."

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