On Tuesday, two more high school athletes lives were cut short for the third time in four days. This time yet another Southern state was thrown into the deadly mix, with both Georgia high school players left as tragic victims.
According to the Associated Press and a variety of media outlets in the Jacksonville, Florida area, Fitzgerald (Ga.) High defensive lineman Don'terio Searcy was found unresponsive in his cabin on Tuesday morning at Florida Bible Camp, where the Fitzgerald High football team is holding its annual preseason football training camp. The lineman was found after participating in morning practices.
Searcy was immediately transported to a nearby hospital, but all attempts to revive the 16-year-old failed, with the teenager pronounced dead at the medical center. The cause of death remains unknown, but dangerous temperatures and an even more threatening heat index are likely to have played a role in the teen's death. Temperatures in High Springs, Fla., near the team's camp site, reached 92 degrees on Monday and an even higher mark on Tuesday, according to weather.com.
The Fitzgerald community is now rallying around Searcy's former teammates and classmates to try and ease the grief process. FirstCoastNews.com reported that grief counselors were immediately dispatched to be with the Fitzgerald football program, and the team planned to return to Georgia on Tuesday night or during the day on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, across the state another Georgia teen lost a week-long battle for his life fighting for his life after falling ill with heat stroke. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Locust Grove (Ga.) High center Forrest Jones had been in critical condition after falling ill with heat stroke, which was diagnosed immediately after a summer football practice in the final week of July.
Jones death came after days with the teen in critical condition at a Georgia hospital. His father told the Journal-Constitution earlier on Tuesday that his son's prognosis was "not looking good at all."Read More »from In Georgia, two more teens die of suspected heat stroke