South Carolina High School Football Player Dies After Collapsing on Sideline

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2012

Photo Credit: Washington Examiner
Photo Credit: Washington Examiner

An 18-year-old South Carolina high school football player collapsed after making a tackle and died on Friday night, according to ESPN.

The player was Hartsville Red Foxes defensive tackle Ronald Rouse, who was playing in his final homecoming game as a senior. 

Rouse's death was announced by Hartsville mayor Mel Pennington, who detailed the heartbreaking story in an email sent to the media. 


The the 6-foot-3, 320-pound Rouse was involved 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.

According to the report, emergency professionals worked vigorously to resuscitate Rouse while rushing him to the hospital, but their efforts were to no avail.  At this time, there is no known cause of death, and an autopsy will be conducted on Saturday to help officials make sense of this shocking occurrence. 

After Rouse was taken off the field in the second quarter, Hartsville and its opponent, Crestwood High School, played until halftime. When the severity of the situation was realized, the second half of the game was suspended and both sides went to the hospital in a sign of solidarity.

In light of the tragedy, Pennington ordered all flags to be flown at half-mast in Rouse's honor, and the mayor told all Hartsville natives to "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."