High school football player dies days after collapsing on field

They prayed for a miracle, gathering on the same field where, two nights earlier, 17-year-old Dylan Thomas suddenly collapsed during a high school football game.

But just a few hours after the vigil, word spread that the Pike County High School junior had died. His uncle, Nick Burgess, confirmed the news on Facebook late Sunday.


It’s unclear what triggered Thomas’ death. A family member told Channel 2 Action News that Thomas told a teammate “he didn’t feel right” shortly before he went down.

Another Georgia player is fighting for his life after collapsing during Saturday game in Nashville. Westlake High School graduate Christion Abercrombie, a sophomore at Tennessee State, remains in critical condition after he lost consciousness during a game against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

“He was taking on a block ,and it wasn’t anything malicious or dirty or anything like that,” Tennessee State coach Rod Reed said on his Sunday morning radio show. “Just an unfortunate situation.”

Abercrombie — a linebacker, like Thomas — walked off the field without any help. Abercrombie told trainers he had a headache. Then, minutes later, he collapsed, according to his coach.

“Christian is resting. He’s fighting,” his mother, Staci Abercombie, said. “We’re trusting God and please continue to pray.”

Throughout the weekend, updates on Thomas of Pike County condition became increasingly dire. He had been airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital Friday night and by the following evening, the swelling in his brain had not subsided, according to his uncle.

“Things are not looking good at all,” Burgess wrote on Facebook. “I can’t even describe the pain I am feeling.”

His nephew was in “very critical condition,” Burgess said, and even if he survives “chances are he will not be the same.”

Around 1 p.m. Sunday, Burgess posted another update.

“Nothing more can be done for Dylan Thomas, it is all up to God and Dylan’s fight to live at this point,” Burgess wrote. “He still is in very critical condition. Doctors have done everything they possibly can so please keep praying.”

Meanwhile, details were scarce on Abercrombie’s condition until Sunday morning, when his godmother, Tajshure Cornelius, offered reason for hope.

“My godson is AMAZING the doctors with his progress,” Cornelius, tweeted at 10:12 a.m., “Your prayers are working.”