Hartsville, SC, United States (4E Sports) – A tragic incident occurred during a high school football game when an 18-year-old player collapsed and died after making a tackle.
Playing in his final homecoming game as a senior, defensive tackle Ronald House of the Hartsville Red Foxes collapsed in the sideline after tackling an opponent from Crestwood High School.
Hartsville mayor Mel Pennington, in an e-mail sent to media, said the 6-3, 320-pound Rouse stayed on the ground after the tackle. Team officials helped him to his feet and led him to the sideline, where he collapsed.
Pennington said emergency professionals worked vigorously to resuscitate Rouse while rushing him to the hospital, but their efforts were to no avail. He was declared dead on arrival.
“At this time, there is no known cause of death, and an autopsy will be conducted on Saturday to help officials make sense of this shocking occurrence,” he said.
The two teams played until halftime after Rouse was taken off the field in the second quarter. When Rouse’s death was known, the second half of the game was suspended and both teams went to the hospital in a sign of solidarity.
Pennington urged all Hartsville natives to “take a moment and ask God to be with this family, to help them find peace in this chaos, and to help this team deal with the grief and shock of losing a brother.”
He ordered all flags to be flown at half-mast in Rouse’s honor.