High School Football Player Dies; Sixth Athlete Death This Summer


Experts say it's troubling that so many deaths are occurring even though the risks of practicing in hot, humid weather are so well known. "Coaches have to be so vigilant during that first week of practice when kids are getting back into shape," said Fred Dr. Mueller, director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research.

In Houston, administrators at Eisenhower are offering grief counselors to students mourning the sudden death of Al Smith Jr.

"It's just tragic. I mean, to understand that these kids play together, they're friends, they grew up with each other -- it's just very painful for the community," one parent said.

A moment of silence was held for Smith and his family before Friday night's game against North Shore High School, but the emotions were just too much for the team to overcome. Eisenhower lost, 51-7.

ABC News originally reported that the six deaths this year appeared to be a record. According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, this is the third deadliest year, after 1972 (seven heat-related deaths) and 1970 (eight deaths).

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