Mississippi high school football player dies after collapse
CLARKSDALE, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi high school football player who collapsed on the sidelines of a game has died.
Sophomore Dennis Mitchell, 16, collapsed on the field Friday night, news outlets reported. In a post on Byhalia High School’s Facebook page Saturday, the school announced Mitchell’s death and asked that people keep Mitchell’s family and school community in their prayers.
Mitchell was standing on the sidelines in the second quarter when he fell face-first and then began shaking, The Press Register reported . Players immediately called for help and the game stopped.
Byhalia parents, school officials and emergency workers began to treat the 5-foot-11-inch (1.8-meter), 260-pound (118-kilogram) Mitchell. Coaches could be heard calling out, “Stay with me, Dennis. Stay with me.”
Mitchell was lifted on a stretcher and placed in the back of the ambulance, which then transported him to Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale.
Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith said Mitchell was pronounced dead at the hospital at 8:40 p.m. Friday. The body will be sent for an autopsy, but Meredith said Mitchell had no prior health problems and heat was not a factor.
A telephone listing for Byhalia head coach John Danley was unavailable. He told The Press Register at the end of Friday’s game that he still hadn’t received word on his player’s condition as he was trying to reach the school’s principal, who had gone with Mitchell to the hospital.
Danley has been playing and coaching football 30 years and had never experienced a moment like Friday’s, he told the newspaper. He said he was not aware of any health issues that Mitchell had experienced.
Byhalia would go on to win the contest, 28-7.
The school is located in northern Mississippi, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Memphis, Tennessee.