Cedaredge ‘going to get through’ weekend’s tragedy
Cedaredge High School will play football Friday night, going on with its nonconference game against Dolores in the aftermath of the death of one Bruins player and the hospitalization of two other players from carbon-monoxide poisoning.
Starting running back and defensive back Reid Gates, who also was a standout track and field athlete and basketball player for the Bruins, died Monday, one day after being exposed to carbon monoxide.
Gates, Aaron Henrie and Tyler Cooper were watching movies Sunday in a camper that was running an on-board generator in a closed garage, according to Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee.
As of Tuesday night Henrie remained in critical condition, and Cooper was in good condition, according to spokeswoman Angie Anania of Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver, where all three boys were flown Sunday night.
Anania provided a statement from Henrie’s mother, Sherry, that said, “Aaron is fighting, and he is fighting hard.”
Gates’ death led officials of Delta County School District 50J to put together a crisis team to counsel grieving students Tuesday at Cedaredge High School, which has an enrollment of 260 students.
District 50J Assistant Superintendent Kurt Clay said a crisis team consists of counselors, teachers and administrators. The school district has five school psychologists, and all five were at Cedaredge High School on Tuesday, he said.
He added Delta and Montrose counties’ mental health agencies were on-call, but they were not needed Tuesday.
Grief counseling will remain available to students for as long as needed, Clay said.
Clay said all of the high school’s events this week will take place as scheduled, including Friday’s home opener for the Bruins’ varsity football team.
Cedaredge High Principal Kevin Gardner declined to comment about the three students and the effect of the tragedy, citing requests for privacy by the families.
He did offer the school, from students to teachers to administrators, is taking the approach of: “We’re going to get through this week.”
Gates, a senior, was an honorable mention selection at defensive back to the Denver Post’s Class 1A all-state football team last fall.
He also was the leading scorer in the Class 3A Western Slope league for boys basketball as a junior.
In the spring, he won the Class 3A state title in the high jump, an event in which he broke the Cedaredge record during the regular season when he cleared 6-feet, 8-inches. He jumped 6-7 at state. He also placed third in the long jump, was on the Bruins’ fifth-place 400-meter relay and finished ninth in the 100-meter dash at the state meet.