Loyola lacrosse player dead from meningitis Freshman Case, 19, was star at Broadneck

March 23, 1997|By FROM STAFF REPORTS Sun staff writers Pat O'Malley and Andrea F. Siegel and contributing writer Jamison Hensley provided information for this article.

Gerry Case, 19, a freshman midfielder for the Loyola College men's lacrosse team, died last night at 8: 30 at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center of meningitis, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Case, from Arnold, was hospitalized last week, one day after leaving practice ill.

Case, a first-team All-Metro selection last year as a high school senior, set the single-season and career scoring records for Class 3A-4A state champion Broadneck.

"The only thing I can say about Gerry is that he was a wonderful young man with a great family," Loyola coach Dave Cottle said.

"It's a real tragedy. He was a great kid and was popular around school," said Ken Kazmarek, athletic director at Broadneck.

"He was just an outstanding kid," said Tim McMullen, assistant athletic director. "I taught him in U.S. history, and he was a special kid who had a lot of determination and was very focused."

Gerry Case's father, Jerry Case, is president of the athletic boosters club at Broadneck, and his brother, Joey, is a junior there and a lacrosse player.

McMullen and Broadneck lacrosse coach Clay White had visited Gerry Case on Friday.

"I can't think of any greater tragedy than losing a kid," McMullen ++ said.

Case transferred to Broadneck after spending his freshman and sophomore years at St. Mary's.

Another Loyola College student was found to have meningitis last month.

Loyola spokesman Steve Jones said last night that he didn't know of any precautions being taken at the school to guard against possible spread of the disease.

Earlier this month, state health officials warned Maryland residents to be on the alert for symptoms of meningitis and related illnesses that can kill.

The signs -- high fever, severe headache, stiff neck and vomiting -- are among the most common symptoms of various illnesses. But together with a rash of tiny dots that become bruises, they constitute a much more serious condition.

In January and February, 15 cases of meningococcal disease were reported statewide, compared with 11 during the same period last year. Two of the patients, including a student at Morgan State, died.

Meningitis results when the membranes covering the brain become infected and inflamed. It can be attributed to infections by a number of viruses, bacteria and fungi, physicians say.

Pub Date: 3/23/97

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