Local 24 News is following heartbreaking news out of Byhalia, Mississippi where a community is mourning the death of a high school football player.
According to the Byhalia High School Facebook Page, 16-year-old Dennis Mitchell collapsed on the football field Friday night during a game against Coahoma County.
“He was a sweet kid. He would help anybody. He loved football. He should still be here,” said Tara Harris, Dennis Mitchell’s aunt.
His family tells Local 24, he collapsed on the sideline and was rushed to the hospital. It’s not clear what happened, and his family says he had no pre-existing health problems.
“It was just heartbreaking. I mean especially for something like this. You know you see it on the news all the time, some kids who have gone through the same thing on the field but when it hits home it’s really really hard,” said Demond Richard, Dennis Mitchell’s uncle.
Mitchell’s teammates say he got hurt during the game and started to throw up on the field. They say he was taken out of the game but returned. Moments later he collapsed. His family is grieving.
“Hearing him come in and saying hey auntie and giving me a kiss. That’s what I’ll miss the most and it’s a moment I will always cherish,” Harris said.
Saturday afternoon, dozens of Mitchell’s classmates and teammates gathered at Byhalia High School to offer support to one another as they grieve.
“It means a lot. It means a lot and I’m sure if Dennis was here he would love to see how teammates are coming together and it means a lot to the family, to come out and show love and support,” Richard said.
Byhalia High School released this statement on its Facebook page:
“Our BHS family mourns the loss of Dennis Mitchell, a beloved student-athlete who collapsed on the field during Friday night’s game at Coahoma. Please keep his family, our coaches, the team, students, administrators, faculty, and staff in your thoughts and prayers.”
His family and friends are leaning on one another while details surround his death are still unfolding.
“He was a well-loved person. He was a well-liked kid. The teachers, everybody loved Dennis. I mean no reason not to,” Harris said.