Alameda student dies following football practice

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An Alameda student died following football practice Tuesday. The Alameda County coroner identified the student as 15-year-old Giovani Pulido.

Giovani was at football practice at Encinal High School, located at 210 Central Ave., according to Alameda Fire Department spokesman Juan Medrano, when he was rushed to the hospital, where he died around 7 p.m. 

On Wednesday, sad and stunned students arrived at Encinal, many were wearing red.
It was the favorite color of freshman Giovanni Pulido.
Giovanni, or Gio as his friends called him, was just 15-years-old. He died yesterday during a pre-season football practice Tuesday just before six o’clock in the evening.

"We were doing some drills and we were doing some running and he fell to the ground. It was all sudden. It looked like he tripped, but he wouldn't get back up," said student Abraham Urias.

The school has called in grief counselors.

"We go into education because we love kids. This is heartbreaking. The worst news you can get is the death of a child," said Susan Davis, Alameda School District spokeswoman

The Alameda County coroner says Gio's sudden death is still unknown.

Under California Inter-Scholastic Federation guideline student athletes must pass a medical exam before being allowed to play, but are those guidelines enough?

Doctors say on average three to five high school athletes die unexpectedly each year in the U.S.

One sports medicine doctor at Children’s Hospital Oakland says there are extra tests that can pick up underlying heart problems.
"All kids coming in for an exam get echo-cardiograms for their heart and examine things a little further. That is a step that can be done. Some countries are starting to do that," said Dr. Nirav Pandya.

Gio's distraught family met with school officials this morning.

"He was a very nice person. Never negative. Always positive," said Urias.