A high school football player in Louisiana died from injuries he sustained on the field during a game, officials told Reuters on Saturday.
Tyrell Cameron, 16, a student at Franklin Parish High School in northeast Louisiana was wheeled off the field on a stretcher after he was injured during the fourth quarter on Friday night, Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb said in an interview.
Cameron was pronounced dead later at a local hospital, Cobb said.
The official cause of death and the circumstances leading up to the injury are still under investigation, Cobb said.
A local newspaper reported that Cameron was injured during a punt return.
"This is something that has touched everybody — not only here, but throughout the entire country — who is involved in youth sports," Cobb said. "It's something that's really feared, and touches their hearts deeply."
Students and school officials expressed sadness and sympathy on social media, including messages posted on Twitter.
"Tyrell will live on in the memory of those who loved him," the school said in a tweet. "Prayers for his family. Support from throughout the state is greatly appreciated."
Football leagues on both the professional and student levels have come under fire over the past few years as public awareness has grown of the physical toll the sport can take.
The National Football League in April settled a lawsuit brought by about 5,000 former players who accused it of covering up the dangers of concussions.
A forthcoming Sony Pictures Entertainment movie, "Concussion," stars Will Smith as a pathologist who diagnosed a degenerative brain disease in U.S. football players. On Wednesday the New York Times reported Sony executives altered the script of the movie to avoid antagonizing the NFL.
Since the 2015 college football season began there have been 11 reported concussions.
Al Jazeera and Reuters