California HS football player dies after collapsing on sideline

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Tyler Calvaruso
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Tragedy struck on the California high school football scene Friday night, as a player collapsed on the sideline and later died.

Kennedy High School senior offensive lineman Emmanuel Antwi collapsed on the sideline in the fourth quarter of the team’s season opener, according to the Sacramento Bee. The game was stopped after Antwi collapsed and did not resume until Antwi received medical care, which included 10 minutes of CPR before being rushed to a local hospital. He later died.

“Today we learned that Emmanuel Antwi, a John F. Kennedy senior athlete, died after a medical emergency during Friday night’s football game,” the Sacramento City Unified School District said in a press release. “We do not have many details to share beyond this. Our hearts go out to Emmanuel’s family and our school community during this difficult time. We ask all to give them privacy and time for healing and comfort as they grieve.”

According to the National Federation of State High School Association, there have been 34 football-related deaths among middle and high school-aged student-athletes in the last decade. None occurred in 2020, in which high school football was played in 35 states amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

California began its high school football season on March 12 in parts of the state that met COVID-19 safety guidelines. However, Friday was the opening date for more of California’s high school football programs.