Texas High School football

Texas High School Football Player Dies After Complaining of Dizziness, Collapsing During Game

Cam'ron Matthews is seen in a photo posted to a GoFundMe page.Mourners gathered on the track that rings the Alto High School Yellowjackets’ football field in Texas on Saturday. They held hands and prayed in remembrance of junior Cam’ron Matthews, who died after a game under the Friday night lights the day before, marking the sixth U.S. high school football player to die this season.

It was not clear from local media reports what exactly happened, but CNN affiliate KLTV in Tyler, about an hour’s drive from Alto, reported that the 6-foot junior told his teammates during a huddle that he felt dizzy shortly before halftime.

He then collapsed, and a helicopter transported him to a Tyler hospital, the station reported. The game against Carlisle High School of Price, Texas, was postponed.

Multiple media outlets, including CNN affiliate KETK, reported that Matthews suffered a seizure during the game and died Saturday.

Alto Independent School District Superintendent Kerry Birdwell grew teary as he described the youngster, who played wide receiver, quarterback and safety. He told CNN affiliate KTRE that the school would have counselors on hand Monday for any students who need them.

“When you have your own children and you want them to emulate someone and to follow in their footsteps, Cam’ron was a perfect example of that, ” Birdwell told the station. “He was a great kid in the classroom, unbelievable athlete, but more importantly just a great, great kid.”

Neither the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office nor the nearest coroner, in Dallas County, had Matthews’ cause of death Sunday. The Dallas County coroner said it would forward its autopsy results to Cherokee County, where Alto is located.

11 deaths in 2014

In 2014, five of the country’s 1.1 million high school football players died of causes directly related to the sport, such as head and spine injuries, according to a survey by the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina.

Another six players died of indirect causes: Three were heart-related, one was from heat stroke and two were caused by hypernatremia (an electrolyte imbalance) and water intoxication, the survey found.

“Certainly this is not going to be one of the low years, ” Robert Cantu, medical director for the NCCSIR and a professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, said during an interview earlier this month.

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