CHICAGO (CBS) — A 14-year-old football player has died, after he was found unresponsive at the bottom of the swimming pool at Calumet New Tech High School in Gary, Indiana.
The boy was a freshman and a member of the varsity football team at Calumet.
Lake Ridge New Tech Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Johnson-Shirley said the boy and up to 25 of his teammates were cooling off in the pool after practice Wednesday evening, when he went under and didn’t come back up.
The boy was rushed to the hospital, he died early Thursday morning.
The 14-year-old freshman football player at Calumet High School who was rushed to the hospital yesterday after a drowning incident died this morning. That’s according to the school superintendent. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/uBXDgm5g8z
— Mugo Odigwe (@MugoOdigwe) September 12, 2019
“Let’s keep the family in prayer; not only his immediate family, but our school family. Hug your children,” the superintendent said.
Some students at Calumet were still shocked by what they saw.
“I saw girls crying, and I’m like, ‘What they crying for?’ and then they had said that a little kid had drowned,” said Calumet senior Karenden Minor. “All I thought about yesterday was I’m really not fixing to see him at school tomorrow. That’s crazy,”
Johnson-Shirley said she couldn’t say how long the students were in the pool before the boy was found at the bottom. However, she said they were being supervised.
“We had people on guard. The coach, as a matter of fact, was in the seat to look over the students, and he saw two other students going down to bring this kid up, and he responded immediately,” she said.
The superintendent said she doesn’t know if the boy knew how to swim.
“This is his first year at our school, but I do know that he was very athletic. The details of how and what, I really don’t know at this time,” she said.
As Lake County Sheriff’s detectives work to figure out exactly happened in the pool, students were remembering the boy as a great athlete.
“He was funny. He was playful. He was cool to hang around. He played basketball, too. I was looking forward to him playing basketball with us,” Minor said.
Authorities have not released the boy’s name.
The superintendent said mental health counselors were at the school on Thursday to talk to anyone who needs it.