Spring Valley copes with death of football player

By WEEK Producer

August 9, 2012 Updated Aug 9, 2012 at 8:27 PM CDT

SPRING VALLEY, Ill. -- Football practice was canceled Thursday at Hall High School in Spring Valley.

On Wednesday, 17 year-old junior Daniel Lule, a member of the team, collapsed following a conditioning drill and later died.

District 502 superintendent Mike Struna says the community is in shock, especially since Lule had weathered all 25 of the team's summer workouts without incident.

"Daniel was here in July when we had our summer contact days and worked hard everyday," said Struna. "He did all the right things to get ready for football."

When asked if Lule was affected by the heat during those summer contact drills Sturna responded, "No he did not. That's why its so hard to understand."

Other schools have reached out to Hall High School, sending flowers and offering assistance. Grief counselors were on site Thursday morning and will return again Friday when football practice resumes.

The practice will be optional.

"The coaching staff will be on the field tomorrow morning at 7 o'clock and the football players that are ready to go will practice," Struna said. "For those that need more time we'll continue to help them and support them along the way and just take things a day at a time."

Struna called Daniel Lule a friendly student who respected his teachers. The two even had an ongoing conversation.

"Whenever I saw him in the hallway he'd walk by and say, 'Hey, big Strunes,' and I would say, 'Hey big Lule.' That's the kind of kid that he was, soft-spoken but everybody loved him so he'll be missed everyday," said Struna.

Lule has an older brother, David, who played football at Hall High School and a young brother whose in elementary school.

The Bureau County Coroner's Office is expected to release autopsy results, and presumably a cause of death, on Friday.