The Mansfield High School football team took the field Friday with heavy hearts following the sudden death of their teammate, John Moran.
The 15-year-old died Friday morning at Methodist Hospital in Mansfield after what his coach called an "accident."
"It was something that happened, an accident, after the game," said Daniel Maberry. "I don't know all the details of the whole situation. I know it was an accident."
Moran was an offensive lineman on the school's junior varsity team. He played in the team's game Thursday night and was not injured according to Maberry. Maberry said later that night Moran complained of stomach pains. He was taken to the hospital where he later died. Maberry called a team meeting this morning to inform his players.
"It's been a tough day for all of us, but we wanted to make sure they know that we were supporting them, that we would support John's family. We came up here together and supported each other," he said.
As the varsity team took the field Friday night players had the words "R.I.P. Moran" written on their wrists. Moran's teammates were shocked to learn of his sudden death.
"The whole Mansfield district, the whole football team, everyone is just heartbroken and just can't believe that it happened. He's in all our prayers," said Jake Jones, one of Moran's teammates.
Students learned of Moran's passing via social media. There was a constant outpouring of support for the 15-year-old's family on Twitter and Facebook Friday. Coach Maberry said Moran was a quiet kid, but his classmates remembered him as a friendly guy with a sense of humor that made him a favorite among his peers.
"He was always having a good time," said Michael Harris, who grew up with Moran. "He always had a sense of humor, his spirit, he was cool."
The Mansfield Police Department is investigating Moran's death, and a cause of death is still pending.
Grief counselors will be on campus Monday, and the team will hold a moment of silence at its next home game.
"He was a quiet kid. A really hard worker," Maberry said. "He was a battler and just overall a good kid, you know, just a good kid to have on your football team."