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Overheated boy dies at Florida high school football camp

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - Authorities in Florida are investigating the death of a 14-year-old high school boy who collapsed during the first full day of a pre-season football practice camp.

William Shogran Jr. of Sebastian River High School, who was wearing shoulder pads and other equipment, said on Wednesday he did not feel well and walked to the sidelines where he told a coach he was dizzy, according to a report from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

"I got a football player at the camp who suffered from heat ... We’ve got water on him trying to cool him off,” a coach told the 911 operator during an 11 a.m. emergency call.

Shogran vomited and was lethargic and unresponsive by the time an emergency rescue team arrived at the practice field at Camp Blanding, southwest of Jacksonville, the report said.

An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday.

The case has been turned over the Sheriff's Department’s homicide investigator, according to the sheriff’s report.

The 45 other Sebastian River players returned home Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service estimates the temperature at the camp would have been in the mid-to-low 80s when Shogran collapsed but high humidity would have raised the heat index, or how it feels to a person, to the mid-90s.

A 2013 study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine found that an average of a dozen high school and college football players die annually during practices and games, with heart conditions, heat and other non-traumatic causes of death twice as common as injury-related ones.

Many of those deaths happened in the South during pre season play, including at two-a-day practices, the study found.

Football players are far more prone to heat illnesses than other athletes, according to a 2010 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Shogran is the third high school football player to die nationally in pre season practices this year, according to Barbara Morris, director of a sports medicine program at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

An athlete in Pennsylvania who had a benign tumor on his heart, which rarely causes death, and a Georgia player who drank excessive amounts of water and Gatorade, died, she said.

(Editing by David Adams and Bill Trott)

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