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"Hardest part was being alone and seeing his room," father says of Omaha South's Drake Geiger

Posted at 6:18 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-14 14:37:04-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Drake Geiger, a student and football player at Omaha South High School, collapsed on the field Tuesday during practice and later died at Nebraska Medicine.

RELATED: Family of Omaha football player who collapsed during practice & later died call for change

He was just 16 years old.

"He was just a really good kid,” Drake’s father Scott Hoffman said. “I'm going to miss him, and just sad to see him go."

Geiger was excited to start his junior year of high school and to play football again after missing out a season ago.

"He didn't care if he was playing or on the sidelines. He just wanted to be a part of the team and be around all the guys,” Scott said. “The comradery was the most important part of it for him."

He missed the team’s first practice of the season on Monday because his doctor forgot to sign the physical forms. Tuesday at 4 p.m. was his first practice.

His father says Drake's coach called him around 4:20 p.m. saying that following the team's water break after the first ten minutes of practice, Drake had collapsed, and he was being taken to UNMC.

"After about 30-45 minutes the doctor came in and said that his body was so overheated and his organs were working extra hard, and he was very, very sick,” Scott said. “They told me it wasn't a good situation."

Scott says the medical staff told him his internal temperature was around 122 degrees.

"After about probably another hour they said we could go back, and we went back. There was 25 people working on him in a little room,” Scott said. “We watched them work on him and do compressions for a good hour and a half, and he just didn't pull through."

Drake was set to get his driver's license Wednesday.

He will be remembered as a kid that brought a positive light to every room that he was in.

"He always brought laughter to the room, always smiling, well-liked. I mean, a lovable kiddo,” Drake’s sister Brittany Hoffman said. “Going to be missed a lot."

"When we would go to visit family or when the family came to visit, it was always, 'Where's Drake? Where's Drake?' because he would bring a smile,” Scott said. “He always just lit everybody up."

Scott says that his family, which includes Drake's four sisters and grandparents, is what has helped him get through the last 24 hours.

"We're all sticking together, talking and supporting each other, talking about the memories that we got,” Scott says. “Last night the hardest part was being alone and seeing his room. That just hurt a lot."

Scott says he has received a lot of support from some of Drake’s teammates, the Omaha South football coaching staff, and the school’s principal.

The family has started a GoFundMe to help cover the funeral services.