An El Dorado Hills teen on a family outing died Sunday in a Sierra sledding accident.
Dylan Ridolfi, 15, an offensive lineman on the unbeaten Oak Ridge High School freshman football team, was sledding with about 10 friends and family members at Mt. Rose on Sunday afternoon when the accident occurred.
Football was a passion for the teen, who stood 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighed 240 pounds. He also had a soft spot in his heart for kids, invariably being drawn to the smallest in the room at gatherings.
"He was a big kid but he had a huge heart," said his father, Dan Ridolfi.
His father said that his son was on an inner tube and had traveled a short distance up a hill when he began a sledding run. His father said the area was icy because of the lack of recent snow.
Dylan Ridolfi lost control and hit a tree at the area known as Sheeps Flat in southern Washoe County, Nevada, near the Mt. Rose Highway.
Grief counselors were at Oak Ridge High School on Tuesday. In addition, administrators were stopping in at the teen's classes to help any student having a hard time.
"Football gave him structure and self-worth," his father said.
His dream was to study engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno, the alma mater of his parents. The year the teen began to take to football coincided with Colin Kaepernick's senior year at UNR. He saw Kaepernick play several times.
The family had spent the weekend staying at Incline Village, skiing on Saturday. On Sunday, they decided to go sledding at Mt. Rose.
"It was very, very icy," said his father. "He had gone up a hill. He had not gone more than 20 or 30 feet. He just picked up a head of steam and veered off the main area into a tree."
His father and others immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A fire truck happened to be near and fire personnel rendered aid soon after the accident.
A helicopter ambulance arrived, but Dylan Ridolfi died on the mountain.
"Dylan was one of those kids who got along with everybody," said his father. "He always loved being around little kids. If there was a toddler in the room, he would be the one who would play with them and keep them happy."
He is survived by his father, mother Kristen Ridolfi, brother Andrew and sister Madison.