A 16-year-old North Carolina boy died late last week while exercising with his teammates on a football team for home-schooled children. According to reports, paramedics received a 911 call Thursday night after Luke Killian collapsed, possibly from heat exhaustion. The boy, who was from Collettsville, later died at an area hospital.
Killian played for the Morganton Mountaineers, a football team made up of home-schooled players between the ages 12 and 18. Mountaineers coach Doug Deitz told The News-Herald of Morganton that the Pioneer Football League did not sanction the practice. Instead, Killian and some of his teammates decided to practice on their own. Killian collapsed as they warmed up with sit-ups and lunges. "When he went down to one knee, he made a sound like a cough and just kind of fell over," Dietz said. One of Killian's teammates administered CPR while his father, a doctor, talked him through the procedure on the phone, the paper reports.
The temperature at the time an ambulance arrived on the scene was in the 80s, with high humidity, according to reports. But Deitz - who said that Killian never failed a physical and always performed well on the field, no matter how long or tough a game was - doesn't think heat problems caused Killian's death. He hopes an autopsy helps determine what killed the player.
Incidentally, two bills related to sports and home-schooled students are pending in North Carolina. House Bill 253 allows home-schooled students to play for the school they would otherwise attend, based on residency. Senate Bill 361 reaches further, allowing public, private, charter and home-school students to play for a nearby public high school if their current school does not offer their sport of choice.