Leading off today:
A Staten Island junior died Monday after collapsing at a varsity football practice, The Advance
Miles Kirkland (editor's note: The New York Daily News identified the youth as Miles Kirkland-Thomas), a third-year varsity player, was pronounced dead upon arrival at Richmond University Medical Center, the paper reported. Athletic Director Eric Ritzer said staff called 911 as soon as Kirkland, 16, collapsed. Firefighters performed CPR for several minutes to try to revive him at Curtis High School, and an ambulance arrived at the scene at about 10:45 a.m.
A spokeswoman for the city medical examiner's office said an autopsy will likely be conducted Tuesday. City Department of Education spokeswoman Margie Feinberg wouldn't comment except to say the death is under investigation.
Jamar Thomas told the New York Daily News his son was ordered to do wind sprints after showing up late for the team's 9:30 a.m. practice. The player's father said he was told the drill was stopped by coaches after just two sprints, and Kirkland was talking to one of his coaches when he collapsed about 10:30 a.m.
According to Accuweather, the temperature at 10 a.m. Monday was 78 degrees with 75 percent humidity. PSAL rules require all physical activities to stop if the temperature reaches 85 degrees and the humidity reaches 80 percent. At humidity readings of 50 to 80 percent, the PSAL rules advise "extreme caution must be exercised."
Kirkland, listed variously as 295 or 321 pounds, was a two-way lineman for Curtis. The paper reported he saw significant playing time as a sophomore last fall and the 6-foot-2 junior was expected to be in the starting lineup Saturday in the season opener vs. Fort Hamilton.
"Right now (the game's) the furthest thing from our mind," Ritzer told the paper. "The only thing that matters is Miles Kirkland is one of the best kids you'll ever meet."
There have been a number of deaths at high school practices and contests across the state in recent years.
Last September, Brocton junior Damon Janes, 16, died three days after collapsing during a Section 6 football game. His death was the sixth ever in Western New York high school football and the first since Mike Dwyer of Olean Archbishop Walsh in 1977.
Ronan Guyer, a 14-year-old Southold freshman, died in November 2012 five days after being placed in a medically induced coma. While scouting the course to be used the following day at the NYSPHSAA cross country championships at Elma Meadows, Guyer slipped on a muddy area and fell on his chest, triggering cardiac arrest.
In October 2011, Phoenix varsity football player Ridge Barden died following a head injury suffered in a game. He complained of a severe headache following a play and collapsed while trying to stand up. Autopsy results showed he died of bleeding in the brain, due to blunt force trauma.
Other recent deaths of football players in New York include:
In 1983, Yonkers football player Fernando Guedes, 17, died after collapsing during the season-opening game vs. Scarsdale. The death prompted the district to briefly suspend all sports while it investigated how an athlete with a serious heart ailment was allowed to participate.
Newburgh Free Academy tri-captain James Arline, a 17-year-old senior linebacker, fell ill shortly after an October 1992 road game and died of a stroke. It was uncertain whether it was related to a blow suffered in the game.
Torrance Wright Jr., a 17-year-old lineman for Rochester's Franklin High, collapsed and died during a four-team scrimmage in Livonia the week before the start of the 1999 regular season.
Spackenkill junior football player Mark Milano died Oct. 7, 2006, from complications involving pain medication at his