Pea Ridge Football Player Hospitalized, Says Drinking Water is “Uncool”

High temperatures and humidity can be a dangerous combination when you’re out in the heat.
That’s why doctors say you have to drink lots of water.
But what happens when it’s believed that drinking water is an admission of weakness in competitive sports?
A local football player was recently hospitalized for severe dehydration– because he didn’t want to take water breaks at football practice for fear of looking weak.
It’s a little talked about sports mentality that could wind up killing a student athlete who would rather look cool…. than feel cool.
“He’s like why didn’t you take a water break? Because it makes you weak, look weak,” said Judy Reyes, the mom of 16 year old Donovan.
Donovan Reyes is a Pea Ridge football player who recently spent four days in ICU due to severe dehydration.
He was discovered lying in the middle of the sidewalk completely unconscious following a two hour football practice.
“I was trying act like a big strong guy during football and go like I don’t need water to be good, I can just be good by myself,” said Donovan Reyes.
He says, he only has himself to blame, because the Pea Ridge Football Coach makes drinking water a high priority.
“When he says refill the machine it basically means drink water, and so he tells us that after every little thing that we do,” said Donovan.
Superintendent Rick Neal says in his time at Pea Ridge nothing like this has ever happened before, and they make sure the coaching staff is trained and certified every year to host practices in high heat.
“It goes back to just following the advice of our coaching staff, be respectful of the knowledge and information you’ve been given,” said Superintendent Neal
But Donovan believes its a problem with a wider scope than just football.
“I know in martial arts and in soccer that other teams don’t drink water because they think since the other team is watching them, if they drink water its a symbol of weakness,” said Donovan.
Judy says this was her sons first year ever playing football and she thinks because he quickly became known as a standout among teammates and coaches he was more likely to think he needed to resist water breaks.

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