Suburban teen dies on soccer field

August 22, 2008 3:15:00 PM PDT
A 17-year-old north suburban student died Thursday night after collapsing on a soccer field. An autopsy was inconclusive and the cause of her death is still unknown. Jennifer Snyder collapsed around 8 p.m. Thursday night. She was days away from starting her senior year at Glenbrook North High School.

Snyder was playing soccer with the Glenview Soccer Club. This was a part of prep for her high school varsity team. While this wasn't a school team, many of the players on it were also her teammates and close friends of hers.

Snyder's family told ABC7 that what Jennifer liked the most was the friendship amongst the girls. It was at the Community Park West soccer field in Glenview that 17-year-old Jennifer Snyder turned to a friend and said she did not feel well. She then walked 15 feet and collapsed. Snyder died an hour later at Glenbrook Hospital, but the reason is still not clear.

Snyder's family says she had no known medical conditions and her latest physical from Glenbrook North High School was clear.

"This appears -- we're not really sure -- that totally unrelated to really any health issues we knew about or that her doctors knew about," said John Catalano, Glenbrook North H.S. athletic director.

Classes at Glenbrook North don't begin until next Wednesday, but word has already spread, moving students, some of them athletes themselves, uncomprehending of the tragedy.

"Some of my friends watched it all happen. It's just so hard and I don't know how they're all going to get through it," said Ali Mayer, Glenbrook North student.

"It makes you think of yourself, my gosh, it could happen to me, and like, you don't expect anything at this age. You think you are almost immune to stuff happening to yourself and I guess you're not, you know?" said Kaela West, Glenbrook North student.

A soccer player for the last 10 years, as an incoming senior and three-time team member, Snyder would have been on the high school's varsity team this year.

"Very happy go lucky kid. Very friendly kid. Very well respected by her teammates. She always had a smile on her face. Really, a pleasant, pleasant kid," said Catalano.

There were counselors on hand at Glenbrook North Friday, because even though classes haven't started, there were plenty of students around particularly in the athletics department.


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