Sept. 18, 2010— -- A Texas high school football player died Friday night after collapsing following a touchdown pass, officials said.
Reggie Garrett, a senior quarterback at West Orange Stark High School, jogged to the sideline after throwing a touchdown pass with nine minutes left in the second quarter, but then passed out on the sidelines, according to ABC Beaumont, Texas, affiliate KBMT-TV.
Defensive coordinator Cornel Thompson said he saw Garrett collapse after the special teams huddled on the sideline. Thompson said he knew Garrett had a history of seizures, but did not know to what extent, or how serious they were.
Garrett's teammate, Bryce Crew, said he came to the sideline after kicking the extra point, and saw Garrett fall to the ground and start "twitching."
As coaches and team doctors tried to help Garrett, Crew "cried and cried," he told KBMT.
Paramedics rushed to give him medical care, and as they loaded Garrett onto the stretcher his eyes were still open, witnesses said.
He was taken to Baptist Orange Hospital, where he became non-responsive. He was pronounced dead just after 9:30 p.m, hospital spokeswoman Mary Poole said.
The team got the news of his death during the fourth quarter, according to KBMT-TV.
His death is under investigation, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause.
The KBMT-TV reporter covering the game said Garrett had not been hit on the touchdown play, and he was celebrating with teammates when the apparent seizure began.
Garrett's touchdown pass gave the Mustangs a 21-0 lead, and they won the game 27-6, but players and coaches gathered at the 50-yard line after the game. Most were in tears, while some were on their knees and others were hugging one another.
"Coaching this game for 40 years -- it's really not that important is it, when something like this happens," Mustangs coach Dan Hooks said. "You talk about a great kid, friend, a teammate -- these kids all thought of him."
Fellow Players Struggling with Tragedy
West Orange Stark players were on their knees crying and consoling each other alongside their parents.
"He's a good kid," Crew said. "He's a good athlete. There's a lot of good you can say about Reggie. He was an all-around great kid. He was perfect.
"It was just a great loss and it's a tragedy," Crew said.