High School Wrestler Dies After Winning Match

Charley Engelfried collapsed as he was walking off the mat.

ByOlivia Katrandjian
February 04, 2011, 11:08 AM

Feb. 4, 2011 — -- A high school wrestler collapsed and died after winning a match in Dallas, Ore., Thursday night.

Charley Engelfried, 17, shook his opponent's hand, shook his coach's hand and then collapsed after walking off the mat, witnesses said.

"Charley won in the third round with a pin," Dallas High School Principal Scott McLeod said today. "After Charley had shaken hands with the coaches, he returned to our bench and went down."

Coaches and a trainer attempted to help him before he was transported to the hospital. "They were unable to resuscitate him and he died," McLeod said.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

McLeod said he was unaware of any pre-existing health problems.

Doug McWhirter, the teen's uncle, declined to comment, referring questions to the parents, who could not be reached.

But Charley's mother, Nicole Engelfried, told KGW-TV, "He died doing what he loved. He was looking forward to this match and he pinned his guy."

Charley was a junior at Dallas High School, where he was a member of the junior varsity wrestling team, as well as the football and track teams. He had wrestled since the seventh grade.

Principal McLeod said, "Charlie was a three-sport athlete, he was an offensive lineman in football, he wrestled, and he threw the shotput in track. He was a big gentle bear of a kid, absolutely wonderful sense of humor.

"He was one of those guys who would be in a tense situation and find out how to make the situation lighter without being a smart aleck," he added. "We truly miss him in the hallways today because we have a lot of kids who are struggling with his death."

Praise From Wrestler's Neighbor

His mother said, "He loved being active, and he rarely missed practice. He was always proud of his coaches and his teammates."

A neighbor was equally effusive.

"He was quite a bit involved in many sports," Maria Mance told ABC News. "I just saw him a few nights ago. He was a young boy who wanted to prove himself. He would try his best, in sports and in school too.

"He has a young brother," Mance added. "His father was very attached to him. They were good neighbors."

Charley's mother thanked those who tried to resuscitate her son.

"They were right on the spot helping him," she said, according to KGW-TV. "There's lots of love and support, and lots of prayers."

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