Granger High football players hospitalized for heat exhaustion

Posted at 11:28 AM, Aug 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-07 19:47:37-04

WEST VALLEY CITY -- Nine members of the Granger High School football team were taken to area hospitals Wednesday morning with symptoms of heat exhaustion.

The boys were at the school for football practice, and players began to exhibit symptoms about 45 minutes after practice began.

It was a "no pads" practice, and the temperature outside wasn't unusually warm for this time of year, but after one player passed out and several others complained of dizziness and the chills officials called 911.

Bob Fitzgerald, West Valley City fire marshal, said, "This was serious stuff. Obviously these kids over exerted themselves in practice."

Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said the boys were taken to the hospital as a precaution. All nine players were treated and released late Wednesday afternoon.

Horsley said there wasn't anything unique about the practice, and he said water was available for the players.

"These aren't new drills," he said. "There's nothing unusual about the practice in and of itself... Hydration should not have been a factor, water was readily available, that's not to say the students were drinking the water."

Horsley also said the players' food intake may have been a factor.

"If kids aren't eating breakfast and coming and working out hard intensively, that could be obviously be a major symptom of these types of issues," he said.

Bart Thompson of the Utah State High School Activities Association said there were no irregularities with the practice, and he said it appears the coaches did a great job of getting on top of the situation and reporting it quickly.