Arkansas player startled by snake in helmet

Posted Aug. 25, 2011, at 5:50 p.m.

GRAVETTE, Ark. — A high school running back in Arkansas wants to slither through defenses, not have a snake slither inside his helmet.

Gravette High School senior Darrick Strzelecki (struh-LEH’-kee) felt something odd in his helmet during practice Tuesday, but said he thought it was sweat beading up or a tangled lock of hair.

During a break, Strzelecki took off his helmet, looked inside and found what he thought was a rubber snake — until it tried to slide away. After someone killed the snake, he checked every corner of his helmet to make sure there was nothing else inside.

An assistant coach said the snake did not appear venomous, and school maintenance workers made sure Wednesday there were no other critters in the locker room and equipment.

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