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Fort Worth family in 'disbelief' after healthy teen dies after football practice

Kyrell McBride-Johnson, 13, had no known health issues, his family said. He collapsed at football practice at Summer Creek Middle School in Crowley Wednesday.

For Monica McBride-Debbs, it's still too hard to believe that the life of the party, the athlete, the born entertainer she called her one and only son-- is gone.

"Everybody is in disbelief," she said of her son, 13-year-old Kyrell McBride-Johnson. "It just hasn’t set in yet because Kyrell was a healthy boy."

Late Wednesday afternoon, Kyrell was at his second ever football practice at Summer Creek Middle School in the Crowley ISD when something went wrong.

"I was there the whole time," his mother said. "His body just started moving in these different ways and he just locked and turn and fell. He just collapsed."

The 8th grader was first taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest, and then flown to Cook Children's Medical Center, where he passed away.

"I really want answers, I really want to know what happened to him," Monica said. "Even if it was some kind of underlying medical problem behind the scenes that nobody knew, I can get my other kids checked out."

As of Thursday afternoon, Crowley ISD had not explained its middle school football practice guidelines. The superintendent did release a statement, saying the district was "...incredibly saddened by this tragedy and the loss of this young life. We do not yet know what caused Kyrell's passing, but our priority right now is to provide support and care to the family, friends and educators who knew and loved him."

At Kyrell's Fort Worth home, his family is turning to faith. "It is not by chance that God called on one of his children. He had something else for him to do," said one family member who led the family in prayer.

They're trying to make sense of such a bright future lost-- a young man who wanted to be in movies. "He said they're going to be cheering, calling my name," his mother recalled Kyrell saying. "I want to hear them call my name."

Grief counselors offered support to students and staff in the Crowley ISD Thursday. The medical examiner has not yet released Kyrell's cause of death.

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