West Virginia football player dies after collapsing during game

Photo: WSAZ
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CLAY, W.Va. (WV MetroNews/WSAZ) - Roane County High School officials confirm a player died Friday night after collapsing on the field.

The school posted the following message to its Facebook page Saturday morning:

“The Roane County community suffered a tragic loss last night with the passing of Alex Miller. Roane County High School will open its doors at noon today for the students to be with one another during this difficult time. Counselors, local pastors, teachers, parents and friends will be available as our community continues to grieve.”

Roane County was playing Clay County Friday night when the incident occurred at the end of the first quarter.

"Miller was immediately given emergency medical attention and transported to a local hospital, but these efforts were ultimately unsuccessful," Superintendent Dr. Richard Duncan said in a statement.

Witnesses said the first quarter ended and players came to their respective sidelines. As they were returning to the field to begin the second quarter, there was a frantic call for EMS from the Roane County sideline.

Paramedics immediately responded and the entire team was moved to the field to allow EMS crews room to work. The rescue personnel performed CPR even as he was being transported from the field to the ambulance.

As Miller was taken to the hospital, the stadium went silent. The Public Address announcer asked for prayer. Members of both teams, coaches, cheerleaders, and referees gathered at midfield. Fans prayed silently in the stands.

"The game was initially suspended until Saturday evening, but as of Saturday morning the game was suspended indefinitely pending a future decision on its resumption," Duncan said.

According to a WV SSAC roster, Miller was a senior who played wide receiver and defensive back for Roane County.

Grief counselors are on hand at the school and the doors are open today for anyone needing support.

The last time a player died during a football game in West Virginia was September 30, 1993. Ritchie County player Chuck Scholfield died during a game with Wirt County.

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