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 October 12, 2023

High school football player suddenly collapses, dies during practice

The family of a young Connecticut high school student was hit with an unthinkable tragedy recently. 

According to the Daily Caller, Elijah-Jay Mariano Rivera, a 15-year-old student and football player, died after he suddenly collapsed on the football field.

The tragic, sudden death happened at football practice, according to reports.

Emergency responders, including police, attempted to revive the 11th grade student with CPR, but were unfortunately unsuccessful in doing so.

What happened?

In some similar cases, student athletes have collapsed and died while undergoing drills and otherwise intense practice sessions. That wasn't the case with Rivera, authorities said.

The Daily Caller noted:

Hill also reportedly said Rivera was taken to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, but “sadly, the medical professionals were unable to revive him.”

"As a community we want to keep his family in our thoughts and prayers and support them moving forward however we can," district superintendent Terrence Hill said.

The Windsor High School football program released a statement.

"Gone from our sight but never from our hearts we mourn the passing of Elijah-Jay Mariano Rivera, an amazing son, brother, athlete, student and friend. #65 Forever in our hearts. We will miss you Big Texas, Love you. This season is dedicated to you and Coach Knight," the team wrote.

No known cause of death

As of this writing, the teen's death is still a mystery, especially as he wasn't engaged in intense activity at the time of his sudden collapse.

Many of his classmates had nothing but nice things to say about him, and were just as shocked at his sudden passing.

NBC News noted:

We spoke with one of Mariano-Rivera's friends, who described him as "the sweetest, kindest person you'll ever meet."

Alyssa Kelly said she remembers giving Mariano-Rivera a huge hug when he moved back from Texas.

"He could just walk into a room and he just lights up the whole room with that smile on his face," Kelly said.

Sadly, these situations seem like they happen fare more often than they used to. Hopefully, his family can ultimately receive the closure they deserve.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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