Florida high school football player on life support after collapsing during game, reports say

A high school football player in Florida collapsed during a game Friday and remained in the hospital on life support, according to local reports.

Jacquez Welch, a senior football captain at Northeast High School in St. Petersburg, didn’t get up after a tackle during Friday night’s game, Bay News 9 reported, adding that his mother, Marcia Nelson, was at the game and watched it happen.

“It was a group tackle. Everybody got up. He got up a little slow and he didn’t get back up,” she told the television station.

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Paramedics rushed Welch to the hospital.

Once there, doctors discovered the 17-year-old was suffering from severe bleeding on the brain from a preexisting condition, coach Jeremy Frioud said, as The Tampa Bay Times reported.

“Jacquez is such an incredible kid,” Frioud said. “He does everything right. Everyone is praying for him. He needs a miracle.”

Doctors reportedly said Welch had a brain arteriovenous malformation, a rare tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins, according to the Mayo Clinic.

A brain arteriovenous malformation may not cause any symptoms until it ruptures, but some signs can include seizures, headache or pain in one area of the head, muscle weakness or numbness in one part of the body, vision loss, severe unsteadiness and difficulty speaking.

Welch’s team, the Vikings, reportedly decided to continue to play after he was hospitalized.

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“They agreed that’s what Jacquez would have wanted,” Frioud said.

After the 41-0 win against Seminole Osceola High School, the entire team went to visit Welch in the hospital, the newspaper reported.

Northeast Football tweeted on Saturday, “Please continued prayers for Jacquez Welch! His family, friends, teammates, coaches, teachers need strength more than ever!!”

On Sunday, the team tweeted the words “Just pray,” and included a photo of Welch as he presented a framed jersey to the family of a former Viking, Marquis Scott, who reportedly was shot and killed days earlier.

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Frioud is expected to provide the latest on Welch’s condition during a news conference scheduled for Monday evening.

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