Barnwell High football player dies of heat stroke

BARNWELL, SC (WIS) - Even with hurricanes and tropical storms near our region, temperatures can still get pretty hot.
Over the weekend a Barnwell High School football player died from heat stroke.

"My son was 6 foot 5, 365 pounds, size 15 shoe," says Henrietta Williams.

Williams tells us her son James Wooden was a junior at Barnwell High School who loved football.

"Most people said Big James was a gentle giant. He never used his size to hurt anybody. Except on the football field -- that was different," she says.

James gave his all for his team, even in practices in scorching summer heat.

James' mother said he was practicing last week when he felt dizzy. The coach told him to lie down on the ground to rest, but things just got worse.

Henrietta happened to be there.

"Coach decides we've got to move him, get him in the truck," Williams says. "We wanted some reassurance so we called EMS to come."

At the hospital, James' body temperature reached 106 degrees.

"He was showing signs of complications," says Williams.

The heat stroke began making James' organs fail. Sunday, the 16-year-old died.

"This is hard -- so hard," says Williams. "There are no words -- no words."

It was the second time James had a heat illness this season. He spent a night in the hospital a month ago with heat exhaustion.

His mom hopes James' story makes coaches remember to give players plenty of fluids.

"This can happen to anyone," she says.

Now she clutches James' shirt.

"That's my boy, 79 is my boy," says Williams.

James may be laid to rest in his football jersey.

Reported by Jennifer Wilson

Posted by Logan Smith