Every player wants to start their senior season off on a high note. For Williams (N.C.) High School quarterback Harry Cohen, he did just that in his team's second game of the season against Southern Alamance, on Friday night.
With the game resting squarely on the quarterback's shoulders, Cohen led Williams to a 27-17 win in its home opener, accounting for 241 yards rushing and 107 passing. It was the kind of all-around performance that left his teammates smiling, and the opposing coaches shaking their heads.
There was no reason to worry about Cohen after the game. "The last time I saw him Friday night, he was sitting out on the steps with the biggest grin I've ever seen," Williams head coach David Green told The Times-News, following his team's win.
But things changed on Sunday morning, when Cohen was suddenly taken to North Carolina Children's Hospital in Chapel Hill, and reportedly put on life support.
As the The Burlington Times-News reported earlier on Monday, very little had been released regarding the reason Cohen was taken to the hospital, but a Facebook page that was setup for Cohen noted that "his dad went to wake Harry up and he wasn't breathing. The doctors think he had a Aneurysm."
Late Monday evening, media outlets in the North Carolina area reported that Cohen had passed away, but the cause of death was still unknown. "We are extremely saddened to confirm that Harry Cohen, Williams High senior, passed away this evening at approximately 8:00 p.m. at Children's Hospital at UNC," School spokesperson Jenny Faulkner told the Greensboro News & Record.
After hearing the news of his passing, students convened at Williams High School on Monday night to console each other following the shocking death of their classmate.
It's impossible, and irresponsible, at this point to speculate on what exactly happend to Cohen in the 72-hour window between the game and his passing.
Some might question why the family and school are refusing to release more information on the cause of death, but when you're dealing with a grieving family, the main thing you need to remember is that space and time are the two things they need.
We should learn more about Cohen in the days to come, but for the moment, a school and entire state are grieving over the loss of a kid that seemed to have a bright future ahead of him.