90
      Saturday
      86 / 71
      Sunday
      84 / 71
      Monday
      84 / 73

      Hartsville football player dies after collapsing during game

      Team prays for Ronald Rouse

      A football player who collapsed at the Hartsville football game against Crestwood at Kelleytown Stadium Friday night died.

      Darlington County Coroner J. Todd Hardee says tentative results from an autopsy done Saturday suggest Ronald Rouse, 18, died of a fatal sudden cardiac arrhythmia brought upon by a congenital enlarged heart. Hardee ruled the manner of death as natural.

      Rouse collapsed on the field. He was able to walk off the field with the assistance of school trainers, but collapsed once more when he was on the sidelines.

      While on the sidelines, Rouse was unresponsive, and medical staff on site started performing chest compressions.

      According to the Darlington County School District spokeswoman Audrey Childers, there were four medical doctors and two certified athletic trainers on the sideline.

      The coaches and medical personnel were able to provide immediate medical assistance, including the use of the school's Automated External Defibrillator (AED), which is always kept on the sidelines during the games, she said.

      EMS arrived at the football field 13 minutes after Rouse first collapsed and took Rouse to Carolina Pines Hospital.

      Rouse was pronounced dead around 8:45 p.m. Friday night, said Hardee.

      Rouse, number 74 and a defensive lineman, was a senior at Hartsville and was 6'3", 335 lbs.

      Darlington County School District has an agreement with Lake Robinson Rescue Squad to provide EMS services at Hartsville High School home games, said Childers.

      However, Childers said the EMS service was not at Friday night's game. She says it is not a law nor does the South Carolina High School League require EMS services to be on scene at football games.

      "These are great people who volunteer their time and service to our community," said Childers.

      Saturday, Lake Robinson Rescue Squad director Robin Brock would not comment as to why EMS was not at the field.

      He did say the rescue squad is seeking counsel from their lawyer to release a statement in the near future.

      The game was suspended at halftime.

      Counselors were on hand when the team returned to the school Friday night.

      Counselors will also be available at the school on Monday for the students.

      "It's heartbreaking to lose a young man so full of promise,"said Dr. Rainey Knight, superintendent. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Ronald's family, friends, and teammates during this sad time."

      The Darlington County School District released this statement Saturday afternoon.

      "Ronald was a joy to know. He was a big, friendly guy who enjoyed school, playing ball, and life. He was also an intelligent young man, whose perspective on life had some unusual depth for someone of his age," said Dr. Charlie Burry, principal of Hartsville High. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his teammates and coaches, his classmates and teachers, and all of his many friends. Our Red Fox Family will miss him greatly."

      The school district would like to extend deepest thanks to Dr. Michael Harless, Dr. John Ropp, Dr. Terry Hassler, Dr. Robert Elder, Brad Robinson and Josh Euten for their assistance and care to Ronald Rouse and the rest of the Hartsville High football family."

      "It's heartbreaking to lose a young man so full of promise,"said Dr. Rainey Knight, superintendent. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Ronald's family, friends, and teammates during this sad time."

      WPDE NewsChannel 15 Sports Director Rich Chrampanis wrote a tribute blog about Ronald Rouse. To read it, click here.