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High School Sophomore Dies on First Day of Football Practice

August 15, 1996

PASADENA, Texas (AP) _ A high school football player who complained Wednesday that he wasn’t feeling well during the first day of practice collapsed and later died.

Donald Ray Roventini Jr., a sophomore at Pasadena Dobie High School, died about five hours after the workout, said a Harris County medical examiner’s official.

The 16-year-old told his trainers he was not feeling well after running up the field and back near the end of the practice. He was taken to Memorial Hospital Southeast, where he was later pronounced dead.

``They were in shorts and headgear toward the end of their workout,″ said Pasadena school district spokesman Kirk Lewis. ``He actually had sat out the last drill.″

Roventini, a transfer from South Houston High School, had recently passed a physical exam allowing him to participate in football and had no known prior medical problems, Lewis said.

``The trainer was with him when he collapsed and tried CPR, but to no avail,″ said Caroline Osmon, a hospital spokeswoman.

Roventini’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office. No ruling had been made on the cause of death, but heat and humidity could have been a factor, said the medical examiner’s official, who would not give his name.

Wednesday was the first day for practices at schools across the state.

With only one more drill left in the practice, a trainer took Roventini to the locker room after he complained that he wasn’t feeling well.

Roventini collapsed in the locker room and paramedics were called while the trainer performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Dobie head coach Stan Labai was at the hospital with family members throughout the afternoon.

``He was a fine young man and he came from a good family. He was a strong, healthy looking kid, so I don’t know why it happened,″ said Dick Nance, football coach at South Houston. ``He didn’t seem to have any problems that I knew of. It’s just real sad.″

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