A seemingly healthy nine-year-old boy collapsed face-first during football practice in a rural Ohio township, authorities said. He died at a nearby hospital.
It was “like a nightmare, you know. Something I never want to go through again,” said Big Bend Youth Football League coach Jeff Steadem, according to the Associated Press.
“I looked over and he was on the ground, face down,” he said.
Coaches performed CPR on the boy Monday evening until paramedics arrived and took over. The blond-haired, chubby-cheeked child died later that night
“That’s not natural for us to see a nine-year-old go through that,” said Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood. The area is about 100 miles southeast of Columbus.
Authorities are investigating the death.
Steadem said all child players undergo a physical before joining the team. “You think they’re all healthy and this just proves something’s wrong,” he told the wire service.
"Wyatt was small, but mighty," wrote Michelle Sisson, a teammate's mother who established a gofundme page for the boy's parents. "Fly high little buddy. WE LOVE YOU."