A high school football player from California who collapsed on the sideline during the fourth quarter of Friday's spring football game has died. Emmanuel "Manny" Antwi, 18, collapsed as his team, Kennedy High School, was playing against Hiram Johnson High in its season opener. The cause of death has not been revealed.
"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 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."
Following the collapse, Antwi was given CPR and medical attention and was rushed to the hospital. The game was called off and Johnson coach Alex Gomes-Coelho comforted his team while also consoling Kennedy coach Brian Lewis. He was doing the same thing on Saturday as he received calls and texts from the coaches across the California Interscholastic Federation's Sac-Joaquin Section.
"There is nothing that can prepare you for a moment like that," Gomes-Coelho said to the Sacramento Bee. "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 set up to raise money for Antwi's funeral expenses. As of Tuesday afternoon, the organizers have raised $42,605 of the $20,000 goal.
"He just told his football coach that he finally got his driver's license," the organizers wrote. "He was so excited. Emmanuel 'Manny' was loved by so many and he was a great young man and he definitely was too young to pass away. 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." A recent survey prepared in part by the National Federation of State High School Associations shows there were 34 deaths in the last 10 years among middle school and high school athletes that were attributed to football.