‘Kids 1st, game 2nd’, says family of Lee’s Summit West football player who collapsed at practice

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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. -- A Lee's Summit West football player remained in the hospital Friday, three days after collapsing at practice Tuesday because of the heat.

Junior center Jacob Williamson approached a trainer during practice, saying he didn't feel very well and then collapsed. Players who were there say he was unresponsive and taken away in an ambulance.

On Friday, Williamson's family issued a statement about their son, with a reminder about priorities.

"Although he remains hospitalized in a serious condition, Jake continues to improve with each day and we thank everyone for the endless offers of help and prayer. The extremely serious and potentially deadly topic of heat and athletic training under these conditions must remain in the front of everone's mind. All of those involved with our student athletes bear the most awsome of responsibilities and that is caring for the kid first and the game second! Clearly the guidelines in place must be reviewed and changed in order to more clearly administer these responsibilities. Thank you for everyone's prayers as their power is great! We should add that the care at Children's Mercy has been nothing short of spectacular and we thank them also."  

FOX 4's chief meteorologist Mike Thompson said the heat index was 99 degrees during the 3:30 p.m. football practice.

The Lee's Summit School District athletic director says there are restrictions on activity when the heat index is above 95 degrees, and their measurement did not hit that mark. Even so, he says some safety measures were taken.

"Not only were they allowing kids to go to the water, they were taking the water to the kids. They had managers literally walking around making sure the kids stayed hydrated,” Richard Bechard, Lee's Summit School District Athletic and Activities Director, said.


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