A 16-year-old high school football player died after suffering an aneurysm during a game Friday night in Texas.
Cam’Ron Matthews, a junior at Alto High School, died Saturday at a hospital after collapsing on the sidelines during his team’s home game against Carlisle High School, the school district said in a statement.
“He was a junior and a member of the Yellow Jacket Varsity Football team. Please keep the Matthews family, our school and community in your prayers,” the Alto Independent School District said in the statement. “He touched many hearts and will be deeply missed.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Told Teammates He Felt ‘Dizzy” & Then Suffered a Seizure on the Sideline
Cam Matthews complained to his teammates that he felt “dizzy” during a huddle, KLTV reports. He went to the sideline and collapsed, suffering from a seizure, according to the news station.
The game, which was late in the second quarter, was postponed.
It’s not yet known if Matthews was injured during a play before he collapsed.
Matthews played quarterback, safety and wide receiver.
2. He Was Airlifted to a Local Hospital Where He Later Died
After CPR was performed on the sideline, Matthews was airlifted to a hospital in Tyler, Texas, about 50 miles away.
He died at about 6 p.m. on Saturday, according to USA Today High School Sports.
The cause of his death has not been released.
3. The Alto Community Gathered at the Field for a Vigil After His Death
A vigil was held Saturday night at the high school’s football field.
“So many people gathering here, it’s very fitting, at the football stadium, where he spent so much of his time,” Alto Independent School District Superintendent Kerry Birdwell told KTRE. “When you have your own kids and you want them to emulate someone and follow in their footsteps, Cam’ron was a perfect example of that. He was a great kid in the classroom, unbelievable athlete, but more importantly just a great, great kid.”
4. A GoFundMe Account Has Been Set-Up to Help His Family
A GoFundMe account has been set-up to help Matthews’ family.
“He was an all around great kid, athlete, strong in his faith & a friend to many. As we all know, with such tragedy, come the unexpected expenses. While we cannot take the pain away from his parents & his sister, we can help with the financial burden,” writes Keri Bowman, who started the page. “Most importantly, please keep his parents, sister, coaches, teachers, teammates & friends in your prayers. Cam’Ron is the son of Ronnie & Gayla (Morgan) Matthews, & brother of Paige Matthews.”
Friends and family also mourned Matthews on social media.
A Facebook page was also set-up to remember Matthews.
5. He Is the 6th High School Football Player to Die This Season
Matthews is the sixth high school football player to die since the 2015 season started in August, according to USA Today High School Sports.
Four of the players, Tyrell Cameron, of Franklin Parish, Louisiana; Ben Hamm, of Wesleyan Christian School in Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Evan Murray, of Warren Hills, New Jersey; and Kenny Bui, of Evergreen, Washington, died after suffering injuries during games. A fifth player, Rod Williams, of Burke County, Georgia, collapsed during practice and likely died as a result of a congenital heart defect, USA Today reports.
Five high school players died last season due to football-related injuries, such as to the spine or head, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. The research center, which is located at the University of North Carolina, says seven other players died from indirect causes, like heatstroke.