According to several sources, a Mississippi football player has died three days after he felt ill on the field during a game. Walker Wilbanks
, a junior three-sport standout at Jackson Prep (Miss.)
, felt ill during Friday's game with Oxford and was rushed to the emergency room, where he apparently had a seizure.
Prayer vigils were held over the weekend for Walker, a guard and defensive tackle. According to one report, more than 1,000 gathered at the school Saturday night for one of the vigils.
Jason Lewis Watson, the head of school at Jackson Prep, wrote a letter to parents today. It read: "My heart is broken as I write this letter to you. I am reaching out to share we have been notified by the family of the passing of Walker Wilbanks. Since our home football game against Oxford High School, the singular focus of this community has been prayer. We have been on our knees in prayer individually, in prayer circles, at houses of worship and here on campus. We have been praying fervently for a miracle that the health and well-being of our beloved friend and student, Walker, would be restored.
"The number of friends we have seen over the last few days have been a testament to the loving, caring, and charismatic young man that blessed all our lives."
According to wlox.com
, Walker was transported to a hospital in the second half of the game after experiencing cramping in one of his legs. He was also vomiting.
According to his home page on MaxPreps, Walker was a very good baseball player. Last season as a sophomore, he registered 44 hits, seven home runs and 63 RBIs.
There will be a special prayer service at Jackson Prep Monday night.
Walker is one of at least three football players to die this summer throughout the country for a variety of reasons. Douglas County (Douglasville, Ga.)
football senior lineman Zyrees Oliver
, who died Aug. 11
after being removed from a ventilator, reportedly suffered from over-hydration after drinking two gallons of water and two gallons of Gatorade after practice.
A week earlier, Noah Cornuet, a 16-year-old sophomore from Burrell (Lower Burrell, Pa.) collapsed on the first day of practice
following a round of wind sprints. Several reports indicate Cornuet died of atrial myxoma, a rare heart tumor.