Family of local football player who died of heatstroke calls for change

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Last year, Zachary Polsenberg died of heatstroke after collapsing on the football field.

Now, his family says they have to do something to make sure that doesn’t happen to anyone else’s child.

A letter addressed to the school district alleges negligence by Riverdale coaches and staff during the incident, but they’re also claiming negligence for what happened afterward too.

“This poor kid was a healthy…he was a healthy boy and he went to football practice and he never came home,” said Ty G. Roland with Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan PLLC.

Now, 9 months after his death, Polsenberg’s parents want answers from the school district.

“They’re doing everything in their power to make sure it never happens again…I mean they’re going to great lengths right now to see change, to protect kids that are out there…seems to me that only makes sense for the school district to be trying to do the same thing,” Roland said, who represents the family.

Roland says the Lee County School District’s investigation stopped when the sheriff’s office completed theirs.

The letter to the school district states Polsenberg was negligently supervised by coaches and staff at Riverdale High School. It also says “the harms…losses and damages are a direct result of the school’s negligent supervision and negligent post-injury care.”

“This was totally preventable…totally needless. The school district has to get to the bottom of how it could’ve possibly happened so that it never, ever happens again,” Roland said.

The letter doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a lawsuit. But the family’s attorney says that the response from the school district and school board will dictate that decision.

The school district could not be reached for comment.

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