Calif. high school football player dies after collapsing during game

No details have been released about what caused the death of the 18-year-old

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On Monday, John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento, Calif. paid tribute to Emmanuel “Manny” Antwi, a senior who suddenly collapsed and died while playing in a football game on Friday night. 

No details have been released about what caused the death of the 18-year-old. Following his collapse, Antwi was given medical attention and CPR on the sideline and was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the Sacramento Bee reports. The rest of the game was then canceled. 

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A press release from the school states: “Today, we learned that Emmanuel Antwi, a John F. Kennedy senior athlete, died after a medical emergency during Friday night’s football game. 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.”

Antwi collapsed in the fourth quarter of his team’s game against Hiram Johnson High. 

“There is nothing that can prepare you for a moment like that,” said Johnson coach Alex-Gomes-Coelho. “The pain is indescribable. When you play or coach team sports you really become a family. My heart hurts for Cougar Nation and Manny’s family at home.”

A GoFundMe page has been launched to raise money for the teenager’s grieving family.

“He was only 18 years old and collapsed on the field on 03/19/2021. It was the first game of the season. After waiting months due to COVID, the first football game of the season was finally here! He just told his football coach that he finally got his driver’s license. He was so excited,” the campaign page states. “All money raised will be given to his mom to take care of his funeral cost and to help her take care of any bills and her other two children. We do not want her to worry about going to work so she can be with Manny’s siblings during this tragic time.”

The GoFundMe has so far raised nearly $40,000. 

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“My heart just breaks for his family,” Sheree Tesca, the mother of one of Antwi’s teammates, told KOVR. “How do you explain to your kid, the person you spoke to five minutes ago isn’t here anymore?”

Antwi’s coach, Brian Lewis Jr., also posted a touching message on Facebook, writing: “A truly amazing young man. I still can’t find the words to describe what he meant to me. Please help his mother provide for her family. She works so hard to provide for all 3 of her children. Losing Manny has put a huge whole in all of our hearts.”

A spokesperson for the Sacramento City Unified School District [SCUSD] said there is no update on what caused Antwi’s medical emergency.

“We do not have further public information or comment we can provide at this time. Our thoughts are with the athlete, his family, and our Sac City Unified Community,” SCUSD said in a statement.

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