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Deadly Heat: Two High School Football Players Die after Practice

Getty(ATLANTA) -- The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that two high school football players died Tuesday, as officials try to determine the effects of hot weather on both players.

Fitzgerald High School defensive lineman DJ Searcy died Tuesday morning following practice at a camp in northern Florida. The 16-year-old was found unresponsive in his cabin, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

Locust Grove High School offensive lineman Forrest Jones died Tuesday night. Jones passed out at a voluntary workout last week, which is not governed by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) rules and policies. Doctors believe that Jones, 16, may have had a heat stroke or heat exhaustion, according to his family.

Until Tuesday, there had not been a heat-related death for a high school football player in Georgia in five years, according to the GHSA.

The GHSA is the state’s governing body for high school athletics, which mandated that all member schools develop their own heat policies after the death of Rockdale County football player Tyler L. Davis after a voluntary workout Aug. 1, 2006.

The GHSA also recommended the use of a heat-index rating or wet-bulb temperature to determine whether practices should be held or modified because of grueling temperatures.

The first official day for high school football practice in helmets and pads was Monday across the scorching state.

The GHSA may develop a stricter and more uniform heat policy in the near future. University of Georgia researchers are in the final stages of a three-year study on heat risks associated with high school athletics.

The study couldn't come at a more critical time: more than 32,000 high school students participate in football each year in Georgia.

Copyright 2011 ABC News radio

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