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Memorial for 10-year-old football player

October 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A photo of David Sumner and a memorial of candles remain on the field in Simi Valley where the 10-year-old collapsed.Family, friends and strangers gathered at Apollo Field on Saturday night for a moving vigil in Sumner's honor.

Sumner's teammates took a somber finally lap around the field in Simi Valley to remember their friend and teammate.

Sumner died after collapsing on the field during youth football practice Thursday night.

The fifth grader was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery to relieve swelling on his brain and was airlifted to Children's Hospital.

Doctors declared Sumner brain dead on Friday and he was taken off life support.

"There are not really many words to sum him up," said Sumner's teammate Chance Sterling. "He was just a great player all around, he was awesome."

Other teammates stepped forward and talked about what Sumner meant to them.

"I thank God that he was born," said teammate Christian Quiroa. "He showed me that you can try as hard as you can and prove people wrong."

Hundreds turned out to honor the fifth grader.

Sumner's parents were too upset to speak at the memorial, but had David's coach read a letter from his devastated family.

"We honestly believe he never met a person who didn't fall in love with him," the letter read.

"He wasn't the biggest, he wasn't the fastest but no one was going to outwork him," said football coach Ed Inglehart. "No one had a bigger heart and he lead by example."

An autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.

For Sumner's young teammate, his death has been a tragic life lesson.

"The thing I really admired about David is that he never gave up," said Sumner's teammate Kieran McGuire. "He pushed through anything no matter how hard it was he'd never give up and he would always try his hardest."

A memorial has been set up in honor of David Sumner. Just click on the link below to help.

  • Donate: David Sumner Memorial Fund
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