Officials trying to determine why Plano teen died after football workout

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by By DAN X. McGRAW / The Dallas Morning News dmcgraw@dallasnews.com

wfaa.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 16 at 11:09 AM

PLANO - Officials were searching for what caused a Clark High School student to collapse and die Thursday after a workout at Plano East Senior High School.

Zachary Schrah, a 16-year-old sophomore, was working out when he collapsed about 6 p.m. Thursday. He died a short time later at Medical Center of Plano.

Zachary's father, Troy Schrah, said Friday that the medical examiner told him that his son probably died of cardiac arrest but that further tests were needed.

Collin County spokesman Tim Wyatt said that although a cause of death hadn't been made official, heatstroke, dehydration and trauma had been ruled out.

Family members said Zachary underwent a physical exam before his freshman year that did not indicate problems.

"You can't put it into words," Troy Schrah, said. "It's just a shock."

Zachary was participating in off-season football workouts that were conducted during the morning and afternoon. He had been an offensive tackle on the Plano East junior varsity football team and was hoping to play on the varsity squad during his junior season, his family said.

He collapsed after running a series of sprints on his own, said Terry Granger, Zachary's grandfather.

Coaches performed CPR and used an automated external defibrillator to try to revive him, fire officials said.

Word of the death spread quickly. About 200 people went to the hospital Thursday to be with Zachary's family.

"It was just breathtaking to see that many people when I turned the corner," Granger said.

Zachary was an avid fisherman and hunter, his father said. He was known for his smile and sense of humor and was contemplating a career as a doctor.

Students reminisced about Zachary during a memorial service at the school Friday morning.

"He was the life of the party," Clark High sophomore Austin McDaniel said.

A viewing will be at 6 p.m. Sunday at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home between Allen and McKinney, Troy Schrah said. The funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1201 Alma Drive in Plano.

Staff writer Jason Trahan contributed to this report.

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