Northwest mourns student
Cause of death unknown for teen who collapsed during football practice
Hundreds of mourners surrounded the family of Edwin "Dek" Miller during a memorial service at the Northwest High School football stadium on July 15. Miller, 16, collapsed July 2 during voluntary football conditioning drills and died July 6.
"We're all going through a lot of emotions right now," said Alston Nah, Miller's uncle. "We just want to lay my nephew to rest now."
The football team, dressed in black game jerseys, listened as school administrators, teachers and teammates gave tributes to Miller and his mother, Nahdi Nah. Miller was laid to rest Saturday.
Nah said the family has not heard from the medical examiner about why Miller collapsed. Beverly Fields, a spokeswoman for the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said autopsy results are pending.
"Certain symptoms he had were consistent with dehydration the doctors said," Nah said. "But no one told us it was dehydration or a heat stroke or anything."
Some parents of Northwest football players said Miller's death was not the result of anything the coaches did.
Marion Bissele, mother of senior linebacker Chris Bissele, said she doesn't have a problem with her son returning to practice.
"I'm comfortable," said Bissele of Boyds. "I trust the coaches."
"The love for the game" is what brought senior defensive end-tight end Christopher Woods Jr. back to practice, said his father Christopher Woods Sr. of Rockville.
Woods, a personal trainer and nutritionist, said he talked to his son prior to Miller's death about how to stay hydrated and eat right.
"I don't worry about him," Woods said. "This was an accident."
Mark Anderson, who coached Miller with the now defunct Seneca Sports Wildcats youth football team, said he was at work when he heard the news of Miller's death from a friend and former coach with the Wildcats. Anderson of Germantown said he called his son, a high school football player in Charlotte, N.C., and "told him to hydrate himself."
"You just want to grab your child and hug them when something like this happens," Anderson said. "They think they're immortal at that age."