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SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2015

High School Football Player Dies After A Hit On The Field


HARTSVILLE, S.C. — A South Carolina high school football player died Friday night after hav-

ing to be helped off the field following a tackle and then collapsing on the sideline.

Ronald Rouse, an 18-year-old senior lineman for the Hartsville Red Foxes, collapsed during

 the second quarter of Hartsville’s homecoming game against Crestwood at Kelleytown Stad-

ium, the Morning News of Florence reported.  The the 6-foot-3, 320-pound Rouse was invol-

ved in a tackle and stayed on the ground afterward, Hartsville Mayor Mel Pennington wrote

in an email. Team officials helped Rouse to his feet and he walked to the sideline, where he

 collapsed.  EMS crews worked to revive Rouse and transported him to the hospital, where

he was pronounced dead, Pennington said. The teams played the remaining 3:39 of the first

half, and with Hartsville up 27-7, the school conducted its homecoming celebration and

crowned a king and queen.  The players didn’t return to the field for the second half, and

Hartsville Principal Charles Burry announced over the public address system that the game

was suspended due to the seriousness of Rouse’s condition.  Some fans wept as the stands

quietly emptied, the Morning News reported.  A large crowd, including team members still

 in uniform, gathered later outside the emergency room at Carolina Pines Regional Medical

Center consoled one another as they waited to express their grief to Rouse’s family.  The

mayor, who ordered flags be flown at half-mast, urged residents “to take a moment and

ask God to be with this family, to help them find peace in this chaos, and to help this team

deal with the grief and shock of losing a brother.”  Darlington County Coroner J. Todd

Hardee said in a statement late Friday that an autopsy will be conducted Saturday to det-

ermine the cause of death.

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