Sunday, October 29, 2000

Town mourns football player, 15

Boy died during high school game

The Associated Press

        BARBERTON, Ohio — Hundreds of students, school staff members and city residents gathered at Barberton High School on Saturday to remember a football player who died during a game.

        Joshua Miller, 15, collapsed on the sideline Friday at 9:40 p.m. and was taken to Barberton Citizens Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:14 p.m., hospital spokeswoman Elizabeth Wilson said.

        “He was real enthusiastic, just an all-around good kid,” Barberton coach Tim Flossie said Saturday.

        Jerome Pecko, superintendent of Barberton schools, said counselors and members of the clergy were on hand at the high school Saturday. Officials plan to have the school open Monday, but counselors will be available for students, Mr. Pecko said.

        Mr. Flossie said Joshua was in good shape and did not die as a result of a football injury.

        An autopsy was conducted Saturday, but results are not expected until later this week, said Amy Schaefer, spokeswoman for the Summit County Medical Examiner's office.

        Joshua, a sophomore middle linebacker, collapsed just after participating in a punt return play, Barberton school officials said. The game was suspended in the third quarter with Ravenna leading 14-12. The junior varsity game scheduled for Saturday morning was canceled.

        Joshua is the second high school football player in northeast Ohio in two weeks to collapse during a game and die.


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- Town mourns football player, 15