By Wendy Gragg

Killeen Daily Herald

Tuesday began as just a normal day for Ernest Alexander, the future tight end for the Killeen High School varsity football team.

School officials say thats what makes the students death that afternoon so hard for the Killeen High family to accept.

Killeen High head football coach Sam Jones and Director of Counseling Services Judy Picot on Wednesday painted a solemn picture of the grief-stricken Killeen High family, one day after losing a promising athlete.

Alexander, 16, died early Tuesday afternoon at Darnall Army Community Hospital at Fort Hood after collapsing during a late-morning workout period at the high school.

The kids have said all day (Tuesday) was just a typical day, a normal day, Picot said. The students have been in shock since it happened. Theyre numb to everything and are just having trouble making sense of it right now.

She said much of the Killeen High football team spent the morning Wednes-day talking to about 25 crisis team counselors who had set up camp at the school since Alexanders death. Picot said the death might be hard for the other students to deal with because it happened at school and because they want to know why it happened.

Sometimes there isnt a why things just happen, Picot said.

Jones, who was in the room when Alexander collapsed, also said there was nothing extraordinary about Tues-days activities.

It was an everyday workout, nothing extra, Jones said, describing the mat room workout of bear crawls, ups and downs and anything that would make a football player a better player.

I dont want to speculate what happened, Jones said.

Both Picot and Jones described a supportive atmosphere at Killeen High as the school copes with the loss of Alexander and as they help Alexanders older sister, a Killeen High senior, cope as well.

Were a family and Ernest was a part of that family, Jones said.

Jones described Alexander as a great kid, good-looking and what Killeen High Kangaroos are all about.

Justice of the Peace Garland K. Potvin said Alexanders cause of death is pending toxicology and cardiac histology at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas.

Contact Wendy Gragg at

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