Douglas Co. HS football player dies after collapsing after practice



DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - The family of a Douglas County High School football player who collapsed after practice took the teen off life support Monday morning.

The family of 17-year-old Zyrees Oliver told Channel 2’s Jessica Jaglois that Oliver was brain dead after suffering from water intoxication. The family said Oliver drank 4 gallons of fluid during football practice on Tuesday.

The Douglas County coroner said Oliver was taken off life support around 1 a.m. Monday and declared dead.

"We are saddened to inform you of the death of Zyrees Oliver, a senior at Douglas County High School," Douglas County High School Principal Dr. Tim Scott said. "He passed away early this morning."

Scott said there will be a crisis team at the school on Monday to help students and staff cope with the loss.

"Zyrees was part of the Tiger Family since the end of his sophomore year but during that short time he touched many lives. Zyrees was a blessing to his football and track teammates, his classmates, coaches and our school staff," Scott said. "The death of any young person is a loss that, in one way or another, affects each of us. We have lost one of our children but we will not forget his academic, athletic and overall impact and achievement he had on and while at our school."

Oliver’s aunt Tammy Chavis said the Douglas County senior complained that he was cramping during football practice Tuesday night because of dehydration. She said the teen drank 2 gallons of water and 2 gallons of Gatorade

“We're talking about a 3.8 GPA student, healthy, waiting to go to college to play football,” Chavis said. “He had his whole life.”

“You think with dehydration, the more water you give, the better you're making it. No, not in all cases, it does the opposite,” said Chavis.

Chavis said Oliver couldn't drive home and when his mother came to pick him up from school he seemed to be doing better. He later collapsed at home and was airlifted to the hospital early Wednesday morning.

“The water flooded his system and his brain started to swell,” said Oliver’s cousin Bryan Stewart. “I believed he wasn't going to come out of it.”

Stewart said his family was praying for a miracle, but now any hope has been lost.

“To see him go at 17, (He) couldn’t have a family, couldn't do anything, (He was) ready to go to college,” said Stewart. “It's just very hurtful.”

The family says Oliver is originally from New Jersey and they are collecting money through PayPal to eventually fly his body back home.

Students wore their school colors to classes Friday to show their support.

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