Friends and fellow students held a vigil Sunday evening at Moon Valley (Phoenix) High School to honor their classmate, Carlos Sanchez, who died two days after collapsing on the football field Friday.
Sanchez, a junior and a starting linebacker who also played running back, collapsed during a game Friday night against Glendale’s Cactus High School and was rushed to John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital in critical condition.
The Glendale Union High School District issued a statement about his death Sunday evening: “Our school community is saddened by the news of Carlos’s passing. We extend our deepest condolences to Carlos’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
Moon Valley Principal Anat Salyer also sent a letter with the news to parents on Sunday.
Some of those friends stood and cried and expressed their shock at Sunday’s vigil.
Sandra Carter, a family friend who has known Sanchez since kindergarten, described him as “a smart kid with a bright future.”
Isaac Villalobos, a friend of Sanchez, said he broke down in tears when he first heard what happened on Friday. He described Sanchez as “a really cool guy. “
The school will have a team of social workers on campus Monday to support students and staff, according to the school district.
It’s unclear what led to Sanchez’s collapse during Friday’s game.
Moon Valley football coach Seth Millican said he is not able to talk about what happened on the field at the request of the Sanchez family. He said he will put out a statement Monday.
“I was on the field and I turned around and (saw) him standing and then the next thing you know he was laying on the ground not moving at all,” teammate Bobby Carlon said in a direct message. “They then carried him off the field and took him to the hospital.”
Millican is not sure yet if his team will practice on Monday.
Cactus coach Larry Fetkenhier also declined comment on Saturday.
Moon Valley’s booster group tweeted that it will be taking donations at next Friday’s game to help with Sanchez’s medical costs.