3 HS football players overdosed on fake Xanax after homecoming win

'It was like something got ripped out of my soul,' father says

Three local high school football players had every right to celebrate Sept. 20.

REAL COUNTY, Texas – Three local high school football players had every right to celebrate Sept. 20.

Their high school team, the Nueces Canyon Panthers, had just defeated the San Antonio Winston Eagles 58 to12 during homecoming weekend.

What they didn't know, however, was that their celebratory at an after party would land them in a hospital fighting for their lives.

"Wake up, Andres, wake up, wake up."

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Sophomore running back Andres Carabajal Jr. and his two fellow teammates came close to death when Carabajal's father said they overdosed on pills that they thought were Xanax.

"(The pills were) cut with a bunch of other stuff," said Andy Carabajal, Andres' father. "It was bad."

Carabajal said hospital staff "emptied out fluids into (his son's) body, hooked him up with all these electro patches because his heart was beating so slow."

"That to me right there, it was like something got ripped out of my soul," Carabajal said.

While his son and his friends are now recovering, Carabajal said he hopes that a video he recorded of his son's near-death-experience will spread awareness about the growing drug use among juveniles.

The Real County Sheriff's Office said deputies are investigating where the drugs came from and are following up on several persons of interest.

Those responsible will face felony charges, Real County Sheriff Nathan Johnson said.

"We're still gathering evidence. We got to get a lot of medical records ... and a lot of other things," Johnson said.

It is still unclear what the pills were laced with besides Xanax.

The Nueces Canyon Consolidated Independent School District declined KSAT's request for comment for this story.

Carabajal said the players, including his son, who were found taking the drugs were suspended from athletics and given detention.

It's a punishment, Carabajal said, that he agrees with and would rather have for his son than death.

"Let's set an example (and) punish these people now that way it doesn't continue," he said.