It’s the same field where fans cheer on the Go-Devils every year, but what happened here six months ago silenced an entire community.
Sophomore Defensive End Montel Williams collapsed unexpectedly at practice last August.
“You feel so responsible for what happened,” Gurdon Athletic Director and Coach John Pace said. “They never knew that they had the problem until they passed away.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Williams is one of 5,000 young people throughout the country who died last year from sudden cardiac arrest.
“I don’t eat right, I can’t sleep right, it’s all I think about.”
This is the first time Montel’s father Charles Williams is speaking out on the cause of his son’s death.
“I think that I failed because I took him to football practice that afternoon,” Charles said. “When he told me he passed his physical, I said ‘Okay, good.’
Student athletes in every Arkansas school district are required to get a physical, and fill out a questionaire. Gurdon provides a nurse practioner for students who don’t have a doctor.