Teen’s Death Warning to Coaches

Last week, 18-year-old Kelly Watt died of the effects of heat stroke, a result of going running on a recent 100° day in Free Union. The surprising death of a healthy, young individual has drawn attention to the dangers of training in such high temperatures. In Saturday’s Daily Progress, Jerry Miller wrote:

“Kelly’s death gave us all cause to consider, ‘Are we doing everything we can?'” Isaacs said. “You can tell area coaches are conscious about it. It’s not the olden days anymore. We’ve been fortunate that we haven’t had any deaths [in football locally], but that’s because we are all overly cautious about things.”

Albemarle football coach Rick Vrhovac added, “It certainly changes your awareness without a doubt.”

Kelly was an intern at The Hook last summer and their sports columnist (“Sports Wrap”) for the past year. Here’s one of his last columns.

2 Responses to “Teen’s Death Warning to Coaches”

  • Our family moved to Charlottesville last month and has been deeply moved by the loss of this great young man.

    We first became aware of Kelly by his performances on the Albemarle High School Track and Cross country team. Because of the internet it was possible for us to follow the progress of both the team and of Kelly this past year from our previous home in Birmingham, Alabama. Both of our boys love the sport of running and will be part of the team at Albemarle this next season. I often talked to them about Kelly’s performances and even showed them the photos of some of his races.

    After Kelly’s death my boys and I attended the funeral and have read the posts his friends placed on his behalf. If you have a moment please go to this article and read the comments found below it: http://www.milesplit.com/article/5925

    The Watt family will remain in our prayers. I hope they will take comfort in knowing that Kelly’s life has made an impact to help us all live here with a greater purpose and meaning.

    Larry Rouse

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