A Texas teenager who collapsed on the field Friday night is now the sixth high school football to die during a game since September.
Cam’ron Matthews, a junior at Alto High School, fell on the sideline late in the first half of a home game between the Alto Yellow Jackets and the Carlisle Indians, KYTX reported. He was airlifted to a hospital in Tyler, and listed in critical condition through the day until he died around 6 p.m., school officials said.
It’s unclear what led to the 16-year-old player’s collapse, and a cause of death has not been determined. Matthews — whose player number was 1 — told teammates before in a huddle before a kickoff he was feeling dizzy, a witness told USA Today High School Sports. Initial reports said Matthews suffered a seizure on the field.
The game was postponed indefinitely after Matthews’ collapse, and his teammates held a vigil for him on the field hours after he died.
Matthews’ death follows five others of high school football players, most of whom died after injuries on the field. They are Tyrell Cameron, 16, of Franklin Parish High School in Winnsboro, La.; Ben Hamm, 16, of Welseyan Christian School in Bartlesville, Okla.; Evan Murray, 17, of Warren Hills Regional High School in New Jersey; and Kenney Bui, 17, of Evergreen High School in Washington State. The fifth — Rod Williams, 17, of Burke County High School in Georgia, collapsed during a practice and died two weeks later from a congenital heart defect.
His team set up a GoFundMe page asking for $10,000 to help their fallen player’s family.
Matthews’ death continues proving 2015 an exceptionally dangerous year for young pigskin players. An average of three high school football players die every year from injuries on the field, according to the University of North Carolina’s National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research.