MILLINGTON, TN (abc24.com) - Students at Millington Central High School are mourning the loss of one of the school's starting football players. 15-year-old Dana Payne died Tuesday night shortly after he was tackled during practice.
Wednesday was a tough day for Payne's classmates. They were very emotional; several had to go home early.
According to the police report, Payne was tackled by a single player and took a hit to the middle of his body. The coach noticed Payne didn't get up, remained in the kneeling position, and was struggling to breathe. The report says Payne had asthma but had not complained about it before or during practice.
At Millington Central High School, students remembered their classmate and friend.
"It tore me apart, never thought it would happen especially to him. He was such a sweet guy, so young, so young for him to go like that," said Sara Modglin, who was in ROTC with Payne.
Counselors were at school to talk to students who had problems dealing with what happened.
Payne's death didn't just affect those at Millington High. Wreaths and ribbons were hung outside city offices to remember the teen.
"It's sad for the school and the whole community," said Inspector Charlie Coleman with Millington Police. "In Millington you go to a football game on a Friday night and it's packed, people here support the team… he'll be missed for sure."
Football practice was also cancelled Wednesday, but no decision has been made about whether the team will play Friday night.