Covering High School Sports in America
For the second time in less than a week, a high school football player has died during a preseason practice.

Courtesy photo

Mitchell Cook

Mitchell Cook, a 14-year-old freshman from Canyon (Anaheim, Calif.), collapsed during practice Wednesday and died later at a nearby hospital.

According to the Orange County Register, Mitchell had a mitral valve proplapse, a heart condition that leaves a valve from sealing tightly. The boy's father said his son was seen regularly by physicians and there were no signs of problems before Wednesday.

According to the report, Mitchell walked up to his coach and laid down as his heart stopped.

"Once his heart stopped, there was just no getting it back," Jim Cook, the boy's father, told the newspaper.

The cause of his death as of Friday is still not known.

Canyon freshman football coach John Coehlo said: "Mitch was a very happy, positive, selfless team player. He never whined, never complained. He epitomized our definition of excellence. He gave his best every day."

The death came four days after Seventy-First (Fayetteville, N.C.) junior Evan Raines collapsed and died of cardiac arrest following practice. Funeral services for Raines were today.

Hundreds gathered at Kingdom Impact Global Ministries for the 16-year-old defensive end, according to the Fayetteville Observer. Friends wore shirts with Evan's image and the words: "With Love We Release You."

Said close friend and teammate A'Darius Braham of Evan: "He was kindhearted and always wanted to make people smile. Evan always wanted to play football."