NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It was a homecoming game that several local high school players will likely never forget.

More than a dozen football players from JFK High School in Plainview spent the last game of the season, and for seniors the last game of their H.S. careers, in ambulances and hospitals after suffering hypothermia symptoms on Saturday.

The freak October storm turned football fields across Long Island  into frosty muddy messes, and when players from JFK and rival Valley Stream entered the locker room at halftime, more than a dozen  student-athletes nearly collapsed, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.

Coaches didn’t take any chances and called for the doctor and EMTs.

“I was one of the players taken to the hospital for precaution,” JFK player Rob Hymowitz told McLogan. “I was fine during the game — running around making plays. And once we came in, I was just non-stop shivering.”

Another JFK player, Shane Lenahan who was in an ambulance, told McLogan that he ” just broke down.” “I don’t usually get cold, but just … the coaches really helped, they gave us their jackets.”

Fifteen players were treated for hypothermia, while school administrators huddled. “Whether to suspend the game, delay the game … once the game starts, it is in the hands of the sports officials,” Todd Heimer of the NY State Public High School Athletic Association told McLogan.

The second half was canceled. The game did not  affect the playoffs.

State guidelines mandate dressing in layers when the wind chill is 20 -36 degrees. When the wind chill reaches  10 to 19 degrees, players must cover heads and necks. When the wind chill drops -11 or colder there is an alert — no outside activity and practices and games must be canceled.

Saturday’s wind chill was 20 with horrendous conditions.

School districts say they will now review their decision-making and reconsider policies, for safety’s sake, regarding canceling games before they even start.

Four other high school football games were canceled in Nassau County Saturday and will be replayed. The players who suffered hypothermia  symptoms have recovered and were back in school Monday.

Do you think the game should have been canceled earlier? Sound off below

Comments (76)
  1. DK says:

    Cold weather,
    two inches of slushy water on the field to start,
    rain, sleet, hail, snow,wind
    no jackets on sidelines, no gloves, no long sleeves
    first tackle they were soaked head to foot
    you tell me how long you could last

    1. BHV says:

      Usually 4 quarters, unless they are a bunch of poon tangs from Long Island…

  2. usa7 says:

    its cold, but this should get a come on man. er not quite man.
    “treatment” for hypothermia…. chicken soup and a blanket. good lord.

  3. stoptouchingthatmabel says:

    What about that always at a football game guy in the stands without a shirt on did he leave at halftime NO he didn’t because the shirtless guy in the stands is like the postman and their code is “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night stays these shirtless fans from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” now get out there and finish the game I got big money on it.

  4. DrG says:

    Heat transferred from the body to the environment would depend on the air temperature, the wind, presence/absence of radiant heating from sun, convection from the skin into a layer of 32 degree ice water (“slush” from the field they were rolling around on)…also, were these guys acclimatized at all, or had they gone from balmy autumn weather to sudden cold weather exertion?

    I’d prefer to not make blanket statements about their “manliness”, since bad things actually can happen, like second impact syndrome with catastrophic brain swelling, permanent and lethal major organ injury from hyperthermia due to climatic heat stress. Too bad that sometimes to be “tough” you also have to be “reckless.”

  5. Johnny Fughettaboutit says:

    Apparently hair gel and terrible guido accents make the cold worse.

    1. Gueeds says:

      Maybe it is their beards in the shape of chin straps that makes them more susceptible to cold?

  6. John Keitz says:

    Funny, but we never had this problem playing hockey. I guess it is just a tolerance level for discomfort…

  7. Pete Thall says:

    Wimps! For all of you crying saying it was wet….If you play hard enough, you’d be sweating, and still wet. This is unpreparedness….if you were on the sidelines don’t you have jackets to keep you warm and prepared for possible insertion into the game? But yet this is the pussification of this nation mommy’s and daddy’s currently bring upon children nowadays….

  8. Mike says:

    For some reason I want to take all the ‘small membered’ wanna be macho tough guy bashers here, strip them down to a thin Jersey, put them outside for a few hours at 15 deg with a chill wind, and then see what these brain dead losers have to say.

    The puffed up group here, would all be whining crybabies long before the HS players..who by the way…seem to have ‘toughed it out’ and stuck with the game without complianing, even to the point of hypothermia.

    It has nothing to do with ‘toughness’ you air (I mean “S”) for brains morons. It is simple physics in action.

    1. jprimus says:

      Put some ice on yours, Mike, you wimp.

    2. FishGuy says:

      The “air (I mean “S”) for brains…” aren’t the kids who chose to play in a “thin jersey”? Get a brain, layer up, and hit somebody.

      Thank God for The Greatest Generation, these kids wouldn’t have lasted 4 seconds in the Ardennes.

  9. John Smith says:

    Oh, nooooo… we’ve turned this generation into sissies.

    Part of football is playing in the weather. I played in the days before all the next-generation cold weather gear, and we got by on layering, wool, thermals and the old sideline cloak.

    I just hope their self-esteem is okay!

    1. bunneh says:

      Self-esteem. Nice one!

  10. FishGuy says:

    Laughs from Minnesota.

    1. JPrimus says:

      I know, Fish. Right?

      1. FishGuy says:

        Early-nineties we played two HS playoff games in early November in snow/sleet/freezing rain conditions. On the first occasion, The coaches got everyone’s shoe size and brought broomball shoes just in case. Great games, the elements are part of the game. Believe it or not, no cases of hypothermia. How did we ever do it?

  11. mark85258 says:

    God forbid that they would ever have to put on a pair of tire chains….

  12. JohnRalph says:

    Couldn’t they just have cut open and gutted some of the fattest linemen and crawled inside of them to keep warm.

  13. LI Fishermen says:


  14. DanTe says:

    Those Long IslandThose Long Island H.S. students can survive the snow storm but cannot take the SAT exam without paying someone else to take it for them. H.S. students

  15. Flashman1854 says:

    And the ships sunk.

  16. tom says:

    Um, one does not control their body into hypothermia but one can guard against it and these guys did not. But to say they were sissy’s means you should also call anybody that dies or suffers from hypothermia lost in the woods the same. Makes no sense to me, but then again I’ve got brains.

    1. Flashman1854 says:

      They were not lost in the woods. These are football players (actually, these are pansies, not football players.)

  17. m says:

    “State guidelines mandate dressing in layers when the wind chill is 20 -36 degrees.”

    So dressing in layers is required (mandated) as per the state suggestions (guidelines)?

    That sentence makes no sense

  18. Climp Jones says:

    Couldn’t they have just gone indoors & played flag football?

  19. mica says:

    They can’t get a woody any longer. Not that it was that long ago that they could. But this is now and then was then. Bras would have kept their breast warm during the game, and that would have helped.

    1. toughguys says:

      Apparently nobody looked at the video @ 45 sec to see the field conditions. Slush! That means wet and cold!! not the same as just cold. Dunk yourself in a frozen lake and see how long you last. Morons!!!

  20. JByrd42 says:

    I love most of these comments and agree 100%. What a buch of pansy’s. I played football in colder weather all of the time during the winter. What has happened to our society? We used to be tough as nails. It’s the wussification of America. Men need to suck it up and be men. C’MON!

  21. jprimus says:

    What wimps! We used to play in temperatures just as cold, if not COLDER!!! IT’S FOOTBALL, for Christ’s sake! I would be embarrassed to be quoted in this article. I’m always shocked by how many practices/games are canceled/postponed due to weather at our local schools. Sign of the times, folks. The kids are treated like they’re precious Faberge eggs. JUST ASK THEM! No wonder why there’s no more spine left in society. Good grief.

    Anytime I see the boys in our town walking around with their chests puffed out, I always laugh to myself. Such pu**ies. If they only knew what tough was. But why would they, it’s been bred out of them. Now “tough guy” means moving out of your parents before the age of 30.

    1. PowerPC says:

      You ex-jock idiots cannot seem to understand that playing in cold conditions is much different than playing in cold and WET conditions. You are all idiots if you think you could have faired any better. They do not choose to get HYPOTHERMIA it happens when you body loses more heat than it can generate. My God what a bunch of macho losers.

  22. jprimus says:

    What pu**ies! We used to play in temperatures just as cold, if not COLDER!!! IT’S FOOTBALL, for Christ’s sake! I would be embarrassed to be quoted in this article. I’m always shocked by how many practices/games are canceled/postponed due to weather at our local schools. Sign of the times, folks. The kids are treated like they’re precious Faberge eggs. JUST ASK THEM! No wonder why there’s no more spine left in society. Good grief.

  23. Jason says:

    Being wet will increase wind chill and loss of body heat. It is not just the temperature.

    1. Macho man says:

      Maybe if they stop wetting their pants over the cold…

  24. hammerhead says:

    weird they play football in the snow all the time up here in New England!

  25. Tommy C says:

    Ever hear of “Under Armor” ….for christ sake we played in below 0 weather when i was in HS . i’M NOT SURE WHO SAID THIS (PUSSIFICATION) of the american male . Your right on . Some one should check their vitamins and make sure the not taking their mothers Estrogen replacement meds ….Just Pathetic.Thier fathers must really be emabrassed or at least should be .

  26. Happy days says:

    When i was a kid we played baseball with darts, we laughed like heck when they stuck in the opponents arm. We used to throw gas on lakes and light them. We used to throw rocks at the girls head and throw bottles at our bus. We drove our bikes as fast as we could into my friends brick wall. Geez those were good times.

    1. tim says:

      are you in Attica or Rikers now
      other then that funny comment

      1. Happy days says:

        very good & funny Tim-no I am a Dad now, and raise me boys to be reckless but gentlemen-i did all those things and more circa 1966-1972

        1. Happy days says:

          I’m not done…Boys/men were tougher then,,,i go off to work in the Va.shipyards in the 70s as a young man. I am working on some overhead pipes with asbestos all over my face-I say, “bossman, i got this asbestos all over me, what do i do?”…he said”i used to carry that stuff in my pocket when i was a kid, so shut up”. Guess what? i shut up, and look at me now at 51, strong as a horse.Lesson is, quit complaining, when it’s your time, die, but nobody dies from cold and rain and overwork. I was watching the History Channel, German Soldiers in Stalingrad…God Almighty—we humans can endure more than an hour in the snow, try 2 years.

    2. dusty says:

      I didn’t really understand where you were coming from until the “drove our bikes as fast as we could into a brick wall” bit….. Now I get it @_@

  27. DrD says:

    OK, so a typical late season day of football where I grew up, in northern Quebec. The problem would be?

    1. Flashman1854 says:

      Exactamundo DrD.

      Correct. Right on.

      It’s football. It’s played outside. It’s played in the winter. It’s played by MEN (I don’t care the age, 11 or 21 they are men).

      These guys are wimps. And I mean the COACHES.

      Plus, what was the temp? Forget about the ‘wind chill’. It couldn’t have been that cold if it was WET. Right? So we know it was above 0 degree (C), 32 degrees (F). That ain’t cold fellows. Not for football.

  28. Griff In MN says:

    If any of these guys are college scholarship-worthy, I’d suggest they take a pass on the University of Minnesota (or Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Ohio State, Colorado…etc.)

    1. beanocook says:

      Or New York. This happened in New York. At least in minnesota the cold is dry. In NY it is always the wettest cold you can imagine, much worse.

  29. frank lee says:

    This was a complete over-reaction by the EMT’s. Did anyone consider, this was a half of football, maybe an hour, in 20 windchill. It should not have caused widespread hypothermia.When your tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail. Of course they are going to take you to the hospital as a precaution. That is what they do!! These kids were in no real danger. I’ll bet the other team didn’t consult EMT’s and had no one go to the hospital. I hope no one on the other team gets a flu, I see multiple lawsuits there.

  30. Jeromette says:


  31. Jason says:

    Pathetic. Put on a hat and gloves. I played in colder weather than this when I was 9 growing up in Buffalo.

  32. Some Guy says:


  33. Kevin says:

    The windchill was 20???!?!?!? That’s it??? The windchill was only 12 degrees below freezing?? I hunt and fish in windchills of 0, sure as heck these “athletes” can handle 20.

    Heck our children go out trick-or-treating in worse windchills. Dress properly and it’s no problem. If you didn’t think ahead to dress properly, it’s your own damn fault.


  34. dennis pavusek says:

    CANCEL, It must be the coachs decision on the field.

  35. Dan Short says:

    Welcome to the world of Montana football—two games stand out. One it was 20 degrees below and the air was so dry, the players in the lights of the stadium looked as if they had halos.
    Another it was over 20 below—closer to 30 I’m sure. The mascot for the other team was a buffalo—who was so cold they didn’t even have to make sure the poor bison had any drugs.
    Unbelievably it was a game that was won by a 40 yard field goal that must have felt like a rock when he kicked it.

  36. DET says:

    In the past, if a game was to be played in subfreezing conditions, players who were concerned about the cold went out and put on a pair of pantyhose. No shame in that.

    1. Mark Matis says:

      Barney Frank now insists those panty hose must have an appropriately-located hole cut in them. Don’t work that well any more…

  37. Lilith says:

    The pussification of the American male.

  38. Heather says:

    Of course they should have cancelled it! There are so many more important things they could be doing with their lives than playing games.

    1. Lilith says:

      You are absolutely right. They should have been playing with their Barbies.

      1. mica says:

        LOL, good one. Playing with their barbies with penises. I hope this isn’t too politically correct to say.

  39. John says:

    Welcome to the Landscheidt Grand Minimum. No, it’s not about Global Warming and carbon dioxide. It’s about the sun and a natural cycle it’s transitioning to even as we shiver. The media is not talking because it’s not politically correct to challenge Al Gore’s view of the world. This was not a freak snow storm. It and others to follow are utterly predictable.

  40. LesN says:

    So, did any player from the other team complain of hypothermia?

    1. Flashman1854 says:

      No, they were winning.

  41. LEL MN says:

    I’ll bet it was the 15 who sat on the bench for the game.

    1. Carlo B. says:

      exactly what I was thinking, im from southern california, our team traveled to new york and played when it was really cold, everyone on the bench was whining about how cold it was, the people playing were totally fine. I can’t believe there was only 15 people affected by hypothermia all from one team…sounds like someone was down at the half and didn’t have a way to win to me. If it was really that cold, the people watching the game would have complained more than a highschool football player

  42. Dennis says:

    who in the Hell thought playing a football game in 20 degree windchill with a snowy field in a game not vital to the playoffs in any fashion was so important it could not be delayed a few days? Our public school officials are morons – I’ll be the stands were packed too? Get real. As for dressing warmer, even simple precautions like long underwear, body suits and some warm air blowers on the sidelines would have prevented it all. In Ohio, they use these things and I’ve never heard of anyone getting this type of reaction, even in colder weather than this.

    1. Flashman1854 says:

      You miss the point. It was WET. That means the temp was above freezing.

      Jesus, if a guy can’t play football in above freezing weather he shouldn’t be on the damn team.

      PS: don’t tell me about ‘wind chill’. It was wet, it was above freezing. It some climates this is BALMY for football players. (Me for one).

  43. Roger Sunderlin says:

    i grew up in new york.we used to go out in jeans, sweatshirts and rubber boots.stayed out all day.what has happened to the little boys.they couldn’t craw in bed with mommy to get warm.

  44. elmer says:

    coach sez- ahh, come on! take the game seriously! you could be the next OJ! player sez- but coach, OJ is in a federal prsion in Nevada! — aw- come on

  45. DigitalBob says:

    Shivering? Oh the horror…

  46. Deacon Jones says:

    Sounds like mass hysteria to me. Maybe mommy forgot to put Johnny’s mittens on the string in his uniform?

  47. Meme Meyagi says:

    what is done about 7 million terrorists living in usa?

    1. Peter says:

      please !!!!!!!!!!

    2. TEX says:

      odumbo has them on his cabinet

  48. Jocko says:

    What ever happened to the days of Iron Men in Wooden Ships?

    1. Wiglaf says:

      They got rusty

    2. Johnny K. says:


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