Pittsburgh-area football player collapses, dies after first day of practice

Burrell sophomore Noah Cornuet collapsed and died following his team's first heat acclimation practice — Facebook

Burrell sophomore Noah Cornuet collapsed and died following his team’s first heat acclimation practice — Facebook

A high school football player at Burrell High in suburban Pittsburgh, Pa. collapsed during his team’s first heat acclimation practice and later died at an area hospital.

According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Valley News Dispatch, among other sources, Burrell’s Noah Cornuet collapsed while walking off the field following the team’s first practice on Wednesday evening. He had reportedly just finished the team’s session of wind sprints. The sophomore was immediately attended to around 6 p.m. and was rushed to Allegheny Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead just more than an hour later.

The practice had been held in balmy 80 degree conditions, though the temperature had dipped to 77 degrees by the end of practice, according to the Post Gazette. The fact that the session had been the first heat acclimation practice for the team may have contributed to Cornuet’s struggle, as players across Pennsylvania returned to the field to begin a three-day process of getting used to playing in summer climates before they are allowed to start contact drills on Monday.

The Burrell School District released a statement late Wednesday night confirming Cornuet’s death and offering sympathy for his family.

“The Burrell School District community recognizes the tragic loss of a student tonight. Our crisis team has been activated and is available to assist students, staff, and the community as we cope with this loss. Support will be available at the high school over the coming days and the beginning of the school year. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

Investigators have already begun looking into Cornuet’s death, with heat stroke and related conditions expected to have played a major factor in the tragedy.