A Mississippi high school football player died Friday night after he collapsed on the field and could not be revived, at least the seventh high school athlete to die since the start of football season last month.
Latrell Dunbar, a junior fullback for D’Iberville High School, fell to the ground after blocking a play in the third quarter of the school’s game in Gautier, ABC affiliate WLOX-TV.
Trainers rushed onto the field and applied mouth-to-mouth, working frantically to revive him for the 15 minutes it took for an ambulance to arrive at the game. Dunbar was then taken to Ocean Springs Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:20 p.m.
Jackson County Coroner Vicki Broadus said today that Dunbar died of an acute cardiac event, which can be caused by hidden heart abnormalities. In this case, though, according to WLOX, she said it was a fluke event.
This appears to be tied for the second most lethal summer for young football players, according to records compiled by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research. There were eight deaths in 1970, according to the center’s records.
From 1980 to 1984, an average of one high school football player died each year during the summer practice season. But the death rate has roughly tripled to 2.8 deaths per since then, according to a study released in July by the Union of Concerned Scientists.