A suburban Southern California high school was stricken with grief Tuesday following the death of a popular varsity football player whose father is 10-year NFL veteran Erik Kramer.
Griffen Kramer, a backup quarterback on the Thousand Oaks High School football team, died Sunday night at a friend’s home, according to a statement issued by his school. It said Kramer, 18, failed to wake after going to bed.
”Although the cause of death isn’t official, initial indications suggest his passing was due to alcohol poisoning,” the statement said. Principal Lou Lichtl declined to elaborate pending final autopsy results.
Lichtl said Kramer’s death stunned the tight-knit suburban campus northwest of Los Angeles. He said students spent a good part of Monday visiting a grief room where they exchanged reminisces about Kramer and made cards in his memory.
”Griffen had a wonderful personality, he was a very endearing young man and he’ll be greatly missed,” the principal said.
He added that students and faculty were continuing to offer emotional support to each other and to Kramer’s family.
Kramer, who had been injured earlier in the season, took part in Friday night’s game and attended a practice Saturday.
His father played 10 years in the NFL, including five seasons with the Chicago Bears. Now a color analyst for Bears preseason broadcasts, he set single-season team records in 1995 for pass attempts (522), completions (315) and yards passing (3,838). He also holds the Bears’ record for lifetime passer rating at 80.7.
He also played for the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers. He retired after the 1999 season.
In addition to his father, Griffen Kramer is survived by his mother and a younger brother.