Westmoreland Co. football player dies after workout

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LOWER BURRELL, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania high school football player collapsed during the year’s first practice — a workout designed to acclimate players to hot weather — and died a short time later at a hospital.


An autopsy was planned on the body of Noah Cornuet, a 16-year-old sophomore at Burrell High School in Lower Burrell, about 25 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.


The boy had reportedly just finished sprinting and collapsed as he was walking off the field about 6 p.m. Wednesday. Paramedics who were staffing the practice as a precaution immediately attended to the boy, who died at Alle-Kiski Medical Center about an hour later.


The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association last year began requiring schools to hold three days of practice to get players used to the heat before they’re allowed to have contact drills. The PIAA instituted the rule because of an increase in heat-related player deaths nationwide in recent years.


The high temperature Wednesday was about 80 degrees, with relatively mild humidity, not nearly as hot as the 90-degree days which often greet high school football players each August.


“The Burrell School District community recognizes the tragic loss of a student tonight,” a statement issued by Superintendent Shannon Wagner said.


The district has activated a crisis team and planned to support those who might be at the school for activities before classes begin Aug. 25, the statement said.


Under the new PIAA rule, players were allowed to wear helmets and shoulder pads on Wednesday and Thursday, and full gear on Friday. But there was to be no contact at those practices. Regular, full-contact practices were to begin Monday.


The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said the autopsy had not been completed by late Thursday morning.


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