OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The family of Omaha South student and football player Drake Geiger is demanding change.
“It was devastating,” Drake’s sister, Aaren Geiger said. “No kid deserves to lose their life going to a sport.”
Drake suffered what is believed to be a heat stroke during practice last Tuesday, and later died that evening. He was just 16 years old.
“He was just a wonderful person and a beautiful soul, and he will forever live on with all of us,” Aaren said. “Hopefully, we can make the change in his name.”
The change Aaren and her family are wanting to see is in the Nebraska School Activities Association’s heat-related guidelines.
Currently, the guidelines state that if the heat index is over 90 degrees, water breaks are to be taken every 15 to 20 minutes. If the index is greater than 105 degrees, then practice should be held without helmets and pads.
Omaha South followed these two guidelines last Tuesday as Omaha's heat index reached 106 degrees.
The NSAA guidelines say practice should be called off once it reaches a heat index of over 125 degrees.
Aaren says the heat index to cancel practice should be much lower. Especially because the turf, which several schools now use, can drastically increase the temperature of the playing field.
“You would think in this day of age, and how many kids we have lost already, that these guidelines would’ve been updated a while ago,” Aaren said.
That is why she spearheaded a petition that has already received more than 3,000 signatures. All with the hopes that no family must go through what they are experiencing right now.
“If we can prevent one more death by this movement and this change that needs to come about, then it has all been worth it,” Aaren said. “Nothing can get Drake back, but this is all we have left – this movement here.”