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High school player collapses and dies after throwing touchdown

From Rick Martin, CNN
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Football player dies after touchdown
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Head coach says quarterback never showed signs of seizures
  • Reginald Garrett was the team's "star football player"
  • A hospital spokeswoman says cheerleaders and band members filled the waiting room

Read more on this story from CNN affiliate KBMT.

(CNN) -- The head football coach at a Texas high school said Saturday there was no way to comfort the teammates of a quarterback who died Friday after collapsing during a football game.

"It is devastating. It's hard to talk about it," Dan Hooks told CNN. "They were all crying and falling out."

Reginald Garrett was rushed to Baptist Orange Hospital of Southeast Texas but did not survive, said Susan Courtney, a hospital spokeswoman.

Garrett collapsed shortly after throwing his second touchdown of the night, CNN-affiliate KBMT reported.

"I didn't know what to do. I just stood there, said Hooks. "It was surreal."

Video: Texas town mourns fallen QB
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Garrett was a senior at West Orange Stark High School. Courtney says he wasn't just a football player, he was "the star football player" and a straight-A student.

Cornel Thompson, one of the coaches of the football team, told KBMT players were devastated.

"I've coached this game for 40 years and football really isn't important is it? When something like this happens," he said. "You talk about a great kid, friend and teammate. These kids all followed him, you know. It's a shocker."

Garrett reportedly had a history of seizures and coaches told KBMT they believe he may have had a seizure Friday night. But Hooks on Saturday said that Garrett never showed signs of having seizures.

Fans poured into the hospital's lobby and waiting room, wailing and falling to their knees when they learned of Garrett's death, Courtney said. "It was like the entire football stadium came to the hospital to check on him."

"There was hundreds of people in the parking lot, there was people in the waiting room, cheerleaders, drill team, band members, community support by the hundreds," Courtney said.

Hooks said school officials will decide Sunday whether to play next week's game. He said the team likely will not play.

CNN's Ninette Sosa contributed to this report.

 
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