High School Football Player dies after Collapsing at Practice

| October 7, 2015
AJC Photo

AJC Photo

WAYNESBORO — A high school football player dies after collapsing during practice two weeks ago.

Burke County junior offensive lineman Rod Williams collapsed early into practice on September 22.  Staff and emergency responders conducted CPR on the 5′ 11″, 300-pound young man, who was taken to Childrens’ Hospital of Georgia for treatment.  However, Williams died Monday night.

He becomes the third high school player to die from football-related issues in the two weeks, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  A player in Washington state and one in New Jersey also died following game-related injuries.

Medical experts speculate it was a heart condition that killed Williams, though an autopsy has yet to be conducted.

According to the AJC report, the team had prepared for Williams’ eventual death when they learned his condition had worsened over the weekend.

Burke won an emotional 26-20 game against Thomson last Friday.

Williams is scheduled to be buried next Saturday after a service at the school’s J.D. Smith Auditorium.  The team will try to gather itself as they face Liberty County the day before.

Football goes on.

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