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High school football player in California collapses during game and dies

A high school football player in Sacramento, California, has died after collapsing during a game.

Emmanuel Antwi, a senior at John F. Kennedy High School, collapsed on the sidelines of the game Friday night and was rushed to a hospital, where he died, CNN affiliate KCRA reported.

The game was canceled after Antwi’s collapse, and the limited number of fans in the stadium were asked to leave.

“We do not have many details to share beyond this,” the Sacramento City Unified School District said in a news release. “Our hearts go out to Emmanuel’s family and our school community during this difficult time. We ask all to give them privacy and time for healing and comfort as they grieve.”

The school was playing its first game of the football season that was delayed from last year due to the pandemic. The California Interscholastic Federation’s Sac-Joaquin Section, which Kennedy High School is a part of, tweeted a message of sympathy for the school.

“We’re heartbroken to hear of the passing of Kennedy High School football player Emmanuel Antwi. We are sending thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, teammates, and everybody at @SCUSDKennedy,” the district wrote in its message.

First game of the season

A GoFundMe page was set up to help Antwi’s mother to cover funeral expenses and help take care of her two other children. The organizers said Antwi was 18 years old.

“After waiting months due to Covid, the first football game of the season was finally here! He just told his football coach that he finally got his driver’s license. He was so excited,” organizers wrote.

“Emmanuel ‘Manny’ was loved by so many and he was a great young man and he definitely was too young to pass away,” they added.

As of Sunday afternoon, the fundraiser had raised more than $27,000, surpassing its goal of $20,000. Organizers expressed gratitude, saying they had received an “overwhelming” amount of love and support.

“No amount of money can bring Manny back, but it can take some stress off of his mom’s shoulders,” they wrote.

Support for students

A district spokesperson told KCRA that a designated trauma response team will be available for the school community in the wake of Antwi’s death.

The team “will be following up with them over the coming days to help them mentally address and process this incident,” the spokesperson said.

The school also sent out a letter to families of students, saying school counselors and mental health support staff will be holding virtual grieving sessions on Zoom.

Once football practices resume, counselors will also be available in person, according to the school district..

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