BOCA RATON – A South Florida high school football referee has died after collapsing on the field during a preseason game.
Jerry Lohmann suffered an apparent heart attack during the second quarter of the Friday night game at Olympic Heights High School, officials said.
Al LeMay, an assistant coach for the visiting team and a retired firefighter, administered CPR to the 73-year-old referee, who was then carted off the field on a stretcher. Lohmann was transported to West Boca Medical Center, where he later died, said Yetta Greene, athletic specialist for the Palm Beach County School District.
Greene said the school community was saddened by the loss of the longtime referee who officiated at youth football and baseball games for more than a decade.
“It’s very traumatic for everybody,” she told The Associated Press. “Jerry loved sports and he loved being around the students and helping them be able to play their games. He was a kind and caring individual.”
Fellow referees and friends told the Palm Beach Post that they were stunned by Lohmann’s death, describing him as a healthy man who ran 10 miles a day.
“He was extremely fit,” said Carlos Carles, a longtime referee and close friend. “He was probably one of the most fit individuals in our association.”
Lohmann was a 10-year veteran of the Western Communities Football League. Gus Pasquale, the league’s president, said a moment of silence was held before Saturday’s games.
Lohmann had been scheduled to work.