High School Football Player Dies During Training Workout

Friends and family are mourning a Delaware County, Pennsylvania, high school football player who collapsed and died during a training workout Saturday morning.

Ryan Gillyard, a 15-year-old St. Joseph’s Prep football player from Upper Darby, was at spring conditioning training at the school’s practice field on Cecil B. Moore Avenue at 11th Street when he suddenly collapsed. Gillyard was taken to Temple University Hospital where he later died.

Gillyard was a linebacker and running back at the school.

“The St. Joseph’s Prep community is deeply saddened by the tragic death of our freshman Ryan Gillyard and our condolences go out to his parents and family,” said Bill Avington, a spokesman for the school. “Ryan was a great person and someone we were proud to have as part of our community. We will do whatever we can to support his family and friends, especially the members of the freshman class and the football team of which he was a member, and our thoughts and prayers are with them all.”

Gillyard’s final tweet, which was posted early Saturday morning, was retweeted over 200 times as friends and family shared their condolences.

Avington says the school will provide grief counseling services throughout the weekend. He also says special programming will take place Monday so that students, faculty and staff will be able to interact with professional counselors.

Officials have not yet determined a cause of death. They continue to investigate.

St. Joseph's Prep is an independent, Catholic College-prep school for boys in grades 9-12 located in Philadelphia. The school's football team won the Prep School state title last year.

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