PEARLAND, Texas – A Shadow Creek High School football player died after the team's Friday night game against St. Mary's Hall in San Antonio.
Chase Lightfoot, a junior right tackle, suffered health-related complications and collapsed on the field in the second half of the game.
"I actually slapped Chase's hand and said, 'You good?' And he said, ' Yeah, I'm fine,'" quarterback Zion Buckley-Sneed said. "I turned back to go get some water. I turned back to slap other players' hands, and all you heard was a fall."
Lightfoot received medical attention on the sideline from athletic trainers and numerous doctors who were attending the game, Daniel Combs of Alvin Independent School District Communications said.
Lightfoot was taken to a San Antonio hospital, where he died about 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
Grief counselors from the district's crisis response team are on campus Monday morning to provide support for students and staff.
"This will be a difficult week for our campus. It will also be a time for us to pull together and show support for the young man's family as well as those closest to him," Shadow Creek High School principal Kelly Hestand said.
Lightfoot's teammates and friends held a vigil Saturday in the parking lot of Shadow Creek High School.
"He was basically a brother to me," Celisa Cook said. "He made everybody laugh. If you had a bad day, he'd make you smile."
Lightfoot's jersey number, No. 65, was on display in the parking lot. Friends held hands and prayed as they remembered him.
"He's family to us. He's a part of the football team," teammate Kelechi Anyalebechi said.
"I still don't believe that it's real. Me looking at his number over there, it still doesn't seem real to me," Buckley-Sneed said.
The cause of Lightfoot's death is still unknown.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
The Lightfoot family released a statement that read:
"Our family would like to express our sincere appreciation for all the acts of love and kindness shown during this most difficult time.
Chase was a very special young man. He was a loving and thoughtful person that never met a stranger. He was a friend to everyone that he met, young and old.
Chase loved being around his friends and family. He loved working in his church, whether it was singing in the choir, ushering, being a junior deacon or working with the kids in children's church. Most of all Chase loved football and being a Shadow Creek Shark.
The family would like to thank the Alvin ISD administration, Shadow Creek High School leadership, teachers and students for all of their support. A special thank you to the coaches, teammates, and assistant superintendents for never leaving Chase's side in his final moments.
Thank you to the Pearland, Manvel, and Alvin community for your outpouring of love and support.
Gerald & Voronica Lightfoot and Family"