Hydration should not have been a factor. Water was readily available and breaks were offered on a reasonable time frame. It's just a highly unusual situation. —Ben Horsley, Granite School District spokesman
WEST VALLEY CITY — Nine Granger High School football players were transported to area hospitals Wednesday after apparently suffering heat exhaustion at practice.
All of the students were treated by paramedics at the scene and were in good condition by the time they were taken to the hospital, said Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley. The majority of students were transported as a precaution, said West Valley Fire Marshal Bob Fitzgerald.
By 4:45 p.m., all students had been released from the hospital.
The football players began practice at 7:30 a.m. with weightlifting and other training off the field. But at 9 a.m., they moved outside to run drills, Horsley said. About 45 minutes into the drills — which were non-contact and without pads — some students started showing signs of heat exhaustion, including nausea and dizziness.
Fitzgerald said one student passed out but was conscious by the time paramedics arrived.
Practice was halted immediately, Horsley said. When emergency crews arrived, some of the players were administered IVs at the scene to rehydrate them.
Horsley said the team had been practicing for a few weeks and Wednesday's practice wasn't any harder than any of the others. He also noted it was cooler Wednesday than it had been on previous days during the summer and even breezy.
Why some of the students suffered from heat exhaustion Wednesday was unknown.
"Nutrition could be a big factor. Eighty percent of the players admitted to not eating breakfast that morning. We know a large number of students don't eat breakfast every day. And it would be very hard for a student, especially a large student who plays football, to skip that important meal to come out and weightlift and then go out in the heat of the day and start doing drills," Horsley said.
"Hydration should not have been a factor. Water was readily available and breaks were offered on a reasonable time frame. It's just a highly unusual situation," he said.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the state high school athletic board gave clearance for Granger to continue with football practices, noting that it had not committed any violations.