A 13-year-old football player for Lexington Middle School in Oklahoma died Tuesday night after a game. His cause of death was not immediately known.
Riley Boatwright had scored a touchdown and was going for a two-point conversion when he “went down,” spectators told local news channel KOCO 5.
“There was no PA system. So, no one in the stands knew what was going on,” Charles Barton, who lives near the field and was at the game, said.
The stands went silent as confused spectators watched the scene unfold. Boatwright was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and his coach Dale Berglan confirmed he died to The Oklahoman later in the night.
“Both coaches called all the players to the center of the field, [and they] took their helmets off and prayed,” Barton said.
The school district released a statement on the tragedy to USA Today.
“Our school and community hearts are heavy after the loss of a bulldog student and incredible young man tonight, 09/24/19. Lexington Public Schools will provide counselors and safe spaces for students and staff in the days to come as needed to share memories and feelings.”
“Hundreds” of community members convened at the hospital after the game, and at the school’s flagpole Wednesday, Barton added. A GoFundMe set up Wednesday with the intent of raising $5,000 to help cover funeral expenses has already surpassed $16,000.
Boatwright is the second young player to die in Oklahoma this month. High school student Peter Webb, 16, died after sustaining an apparent injury in a game Sept. 16, according to the Associated Press.