HIGH school football player hospitalized

Tuesday, August 21st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A high school football player was listed in fair condition Monday night after collapsing during a practice session.

Chris Hardwick, 17, a senior starting quarterback for Marshall High School, was taken to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center after collapsing at about 4 p.m., just before the end of a two-hour practice, officials said.

Although temperatures climbed to about 100 Monday, Hardwick's collapse ``was not heat-related,'' said OU Medical spokeswoman Jeree Ball.

``It's a neck injury. The clinical diagnosis is a spinal cord contusion, which is a bruised spinal cord,'' Ball said.

Coach Nick Warehime said Hardwick collided with another player on the final play of practice, when the team was working on kickoff returns. A short time later, Hardwick went to one knee and coaches quickly came to his assistance, said Warehime.

Warehime later visited Hardwick at the hospital.

``When I left, he was laughing and cutting up,'' Warehime said. ``He said he wanted to be at practice tomorrow. He's not going to practice, but he wants to show up.''