Cause of death released in collapse of Lamar football player

LAMAR, SC (WMBF) - The Darlington County Coroner's Office has released the cause of death of a rising ninth grade football player at Lamar High School over the weekend.

TyQuan Brantley, 14, was practicing with his team Saturday afternoon for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes, not wearing pads on the second day of practice.  As he was leaving the field for the day, the young man collapsed. The coaches called 911 immediately, and he was transported to a hospital but died at the hospital around 7 p.m. that evening.

Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee said Brantley died as a result of complications stemming from a Sickle Cell Crisis. Hardee added many factors can play a role and an exact cause is unknown.

Visitation services were held Thursday evening at 7 p.m. at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Timmonsville and the funeral was scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. at Lamar High School.

"We are heartbroken at this terrible tragedy," said Dr. Rainey Knight, superintendent of the school district. "Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to TeQuan's family, classmates, and coaches."

Though an incoming freshman, Tyquan was already a regular part of the Lamar High School family, participating in the school's summer conditioning program three days a week.

According to district officials, the players had water at the fields. Students in sports and marching band who practice during the summer are given frequent cooling breaks and water. The district says outside football practices are usually scheduled in the morning and evening to avoid the heat of the day. At Lamar High School, players practice for twenty minutes, then take a five-minute hydration break.

"Tyquan was an excellent young man who worked hard for the game of football.  I was very excited about Tyquan's future as a Silver Fox. He will be missed by his family and the Silver Fox family," said Coach J.R. Boyd.

Hardee said he was very reluctant to say Brantley's death was heat related prior to the test results being completed.

Father of a Lamar High School football player, Henry Dixon, says he is very confident in the school's athletic department.

"I'm still going to watch out for my kids - I'm only human. I want to make sure everything is still done right, but I do trust the coaches, they have a wonderful track record," Dixon said.

Dixon believes that the coaches don't push the players to hard and when the players are feeling sick or injured, they need to speak out to coaches and parents.

"From my experience dealing with the high school, if anything happened to the kids the coaches are very concerned. There are cases where kids got hurt and had the desire to get back on the field and the coaches recommend they not play until they fully recover," Dixon said.

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