Long live Drake Geiger

Football is more than a game. For some it’s another family, and some it’s the only family they have. And on August 10th, 2021 South High lost a life.

Drake Geiger was a 16 year old football player at South High. Geiger was entering his junior year. At South Highs first football practice, Geiger went to get a drink of water and collapsed. He had only been practicing for 10 minutes, but the heat index that day was 106 – 108 degrees.

Geiger was 6-foot-3 and 389 pounds. Scott Hoffman, Drakes father said, “Drake was a big kid, but he was a healthy big kid. He didn’t have any medical conditions and he had never been to the hospital.”

“Our football team is a brotherhood,” said Daniel Espinoza. Daniel Espinoza is a junior at South high, and was Geiger’s teammate. Espinoza had only met Geiger that day and he still considered him as a brother.

When Espinoza was asked how the loss of a brother affected their brotherhood his response was, “Losing a brother hit us hard. Especially coming off of a 2 year span with no football because of COVID, but in a way I would say drakes death brought the team closer together.”

After Geiger’s passing teammates and coaches attended his viewing and funeral as a request of the family.

James Patterson, South Highs football coach said, “ Everyone handles a loss different. Some bottle up their emotions and don’t let others in, and some let it all out.”

Patterson cares about all of his athletes and wants the best for all of them. He looks at each and every one of his athletes as a son.

“It still affects me to this day. I never want to bury an athlete of mine. That’s not how life should be. I want to grow old, and be able to watch my athletes start their careers, start their families, go to their weddings, their children’s birthday parties,” said Patterson.