Local News

N.C. high school football player dies after game

Posted September 20, 2008 6:52 a.m. EDT
Updated September 21, 2008 12:57 p.m. EDT

— A Greenville high school football player has died after collapsing during a game Friday night.

Jaquan Waller, a junior running back at J.H. Rose High School, was removed from life support at Pitt County Memorial Hospital Saturday afternoon, according to a press release from the school district.

Waller was transported there after he collapsed on the sidelines during the second quarter of a home game against Wilmington's J.T. Hoggard High School.

“Jaquan was a dedicated player that was well liked by his peers,” J.H. Rose head coach Todd Lipe said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the Waller family during this difficult time.”

Members of the coaching staff and school counselors met with members of the team Saturday. The school will open Sunday at 1 p.m. for students to meet with counselors.

A special fund was established through the Pitt County Educational Foundation to help with funeral and burial expenses. Contributions should be made out to the Pitt County Educational Foundation and sent to 1717 W. Fifth St., Greenville, NC 27834. Please note on the check memo line “Jaquan Waller and Family.”

Waller was the third high school football player to die in North Carolina this season.

Chapel Hill High School senior offensive guard Atlas Fraley, 17, was found unresponsive at his family’s home on Aug. 12.

In Winston Salem, R.J. Reynolds High School football player Matt Gfeller, 15, died last month from a brain injury during the season-opening game.