ADEL, GA (WALB) - The practice field at Cook High School Memorial Stadium stands empty today, except for a single bouquet and message of mourning.
Just before 5:30 Monday afternoon, 11th grader Roy White passed out after being tackled during a typical spring football practice. White was immediately rushed to the Memorial Hospital of Adel, but was dead on arrival.
Those who knew him are feeling the loss.
Dr. Fred Rayfield, Superintendent of Cook County Schools, says, "Usually, the courtyard is a very noisy, bustling place where the students assemble before school starts. It was very quiet this morning."
White, who wore number 21, is described as a leader, both on and off the field.
"When I think of Roy, you see that I smile because he was a fun, just happy kind of student," says Dorothy Reynolds, White's Literature Teacher. "The students loved him."
"He's the kind of kid that makes coming to work worthwhile," says Dr. Jute Wilson, Principal of Cook County High School.
Grief Counselors and local pastors have been made available to those students in need of counseling. The Cook football team met with a chaplain and came up with a list of words to describe their fallen teammate to help them cope.
They decribed White as "nice, determined, fun, respectful, courageous, a role model, a fighter, never gave up."
Doctors say this type of sudden death is rare, but not unheard of in young athletes.
"Sudden Cardiac injuries only happen in about one in every 200,000 adolescents or athletes," says Dr. Tom Fausett of the Memorial Hospital of Adel.
While Roy White may be gone, it's clear that his positive spirit will impact those he knew for years to come. A memorial fund has been set up for his family. All donations can be made directly to the school.