Amite High School

Amite High School

A 15-year-old Amite High School football player who had been joking around with teammates collapsed and later died after practice Tuesday.

Terrance Allen was in the locker room around 9 p.m. when he collapsed, Amite Police Chief Jerry Trabona said.

The team had been in practice late at night to avoid the afternoon heat, Trabona said. Temperatures in the area soared to a high of 90 degrees on Tuesday, and were still in the low to mid 80s by the evening.

Firefighters and Acadian Ambulance crews administered CPR on Allen before transporting him to a local hospital, where he died less than an hour later, Trabona said. Allen, listed in online rosters as a defensive tackle standing 5 feet 11 inches, had no known existing medical issues, according to the chief.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, when authorities expect to know more about the cause of death.

LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine in a statement that the Louisiana High School Athletic Association and the Louisiana High School Coaches Association "will continue to monitor this unfortunate situation and provide any assistance when needed."

Over the last seven years, three Louisiana high school football players died during or directly after playing football. 

Dutchtown High School freshman Burke Cobb died in 2012 in what appears to have been similar circumstances after a conditioning workout. It was later discovered he had an unknown heart condition.

Cobb, 14, collapsed during a pick-up basketball game following the workout as he waited for a ride home.

His family has since started the Living4Burke Foundation, an organization aiming to raise awareness and funding for community-based heart screenings for children, and in the 2014-15 school year, then-Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the Burke Cobb Act into law requiring all high school students learn CPR.

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Jaleel Gibson, 17, of Farmerville High School, sustained a fractured vertebra in his spine during a contact drill in 2013. He was hospitalized but ultimately declared brain dead, after which his family took him off life support.

In 2015, Franklin Parish High School freshman Tyrell Cameron was killed after a rough hit at the 37-yard line during a fourth-quarter punt return in which he suffered a broken neck.

Officials at the time said Cameron turned his body slightly while preparing for a tackle and was struck by an opposing team member making a block.

A study conducted by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research found that of all football-related deaths in 2018, the majority were caused by exertion-related cardiac issues or heat issues.

Nine high school players that year died of football-related injuries. Four of those were considered indirect fatalities, meaning they did not occur during gameplay, conditioning or practice but were confirmed to be a result of football. They all were cardiac related.

In 2017, seven high school players died, and researchers found four were cardiac-related, two were heat stroke and one was a different medical issue.

On Wednesday, the football community took to social media to mourn Allen. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron tweeted “the thoughts and prayers of the LSU football family are with the Amite High Football team as they face the tremendous loss of a member of their team.”

LHSAA's Bonine said the association "sends our thoughts and prayers to the Amite High School Community and to the Allen family."

A number of Tangipahoa Parish residents were posting with the tag #retire64, referring to Allen’s jersey number, along with sentiments like “once a warrior, always a warrior” and “My heart is broken for our warrior family.”

Sportswriter Robin Fambrough contributed to this report.

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