Mississippi high school football player dies after collapsing during game

Mississippi high school football player dies after collapsing during game

BYHALIA, MS (WMC) - The Byhalia, Mississippi, community is mourning the loss of a high school football player.

Dennis Mitchell, 16, collapsed on the field Friday night during the second quarter of a football game in Clarksdale, MS.

Jonathan Rowland was on the field when Dennis was taken away on a stretcher.

"We heard everybody clapping so we thought he was OK," he said.

Mitchell had just been in the game and came off to the sidelines. He was standing on the sidelines with his team when he collapsed and started showing signs of a seizure.

Mitchell was pronounced dead at a hospital in Clarksdale at 8:40 p.m. Friday, according to Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith.

An autopsy will be preformed on Mitchell's body, but he did not have any prior health problems and the heat was not a factor, Meredith said. A coach said he passed his physical.

Saturday evening, his friends and teammates went to the Byhalia football field to remember Dennis Mitchell. They spelled out his initials on the field.

"I'm grateful everybody did come out because it shows how much love Dennis had and how much the community loved him," Rowland said. "He was probably the heart and soul of our team."

When asked what's the hardest part about losing him, Rowland said, "losing a brother because you know we're all one out here. This is a brotherhood."

The Byhalia football team said they will play on, and try to win a state championship in Mitchell's memory.

"Means more because we're going to be doing it for him. He's going to be missed," Rowland said.

In a Facebook post, the school said Mitchell was a beloved student and athlete.

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