As football practices begin around Central Ohio, athletic trainers and coaches are carefully watching players for any signs of illness.
"The tragic occurrences may be avoided if the participant knows of a cardiac testing process," said Sherri Fletcher, executive director of the mCore Foundation.
The foundation's parent company, mCore Athletes, provides cardiac testing through EKG and worked with athletes at Briggs High School Wednesday.
The screenings are free and about 34 student athletes were expected to be assessed.
"Over time, the statistics show that 2,000 people 25 and younger pass away due to heart issues that go undetected," said Mark Susi, mCore CEO.
Sophomore Riley Taylor signed up for the free screening, which usually costs $75.
"I get a chance to find out if I'm healthy enough to play this sport. And if I'm not, it's not worth dying over," said the middle linebacker.
Few schools provide cardiac screenings, and they are rarely part of the annual physical required to play sports in public schools by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
Cardiac Electrophysiologist Christopher Frank said costs keep the tests out of reach for concerned parents.
"It's just not the cost of the EKG. It's the cost of the EKG, the follow-up visits, and the testing required to evaluate the abnormality. And then the cost of misidentifying kids as being at high risk," said Frank.
mCore will be conducted cardiac screenings at the following Central Ohio school districts: