(WMC) - A young life full of promise was cut short, and many in the Mid-South were left mourning the loss of a former Collierville, Tenn. soccer standout who died playing the sport he loved most.
As flags flew at half-staff on the campus of Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, back home in Collierville, Michael McGuire's former classmates mourn the loss of their friend.
His family and friends say he was one of the most determined people you would ever meet. McGuire made it all the way to a Division 1 college in North Carolina, where he died before having time to reach his full potential.
"I miss him dearly. He was one of my closet friends," St. Benedict senior Rachel Bray said.
News of the 18-year-old St. Benedict High School graduate spread quickly across the Mid-South over the weekend after he collapsed on the soccer field and passed away Friday.
McGuire was a standout soccer player and starting his first collegiate season, but less than two weeks into his freshman year he suffered some sort of episode on the field, only 25 minutes into practice.
"They did a tremendous job of getting him cooled down immediately had to help him with his breathing and obviously call EMS immediately," said Stephen Miss, athletic director.
Soccer coach Michael Knowles worked with McGuire for two years in Collierville.
"He would do anything for anyone, he would run through a brick wall," said Knowles.
He says McGuire was not only a skilled soccer player, but also determined to become the best.
"Everything about him was strong, strong willed, strong character, physically strong," added Knowles.
Knowles along with other former coaches say McGuire was in shape, fit and well trained, making it even harder for many to accept that he is gone.
Medical officials are still working to determine what caused Michael's death. There is no word on whether it may have been heat related.
Former classmates at St Benedict High School are raising money to go to McGuire's family for funeral expenses.