13-year-old boy collapses, dies during Westminster soccer game

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A 13-year-old boy died after losing consciousness during an opening game for the Strikers FC North youth soccer club in Westminster.

A 13-year-old boy died after losing consciousness during an opening game for the Strikers FC North youth soccer club in Westminster.

Felipe de la Cruz, of Hacienda Heights, was rushed to a Fountain Valley hospital around 10 a.m. Saturday after collapsing, according to the soccer team's page. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Felipe had raised his hand to get pulled out of the game during the second half because he was feeling tired, according to the Orange County Register.

When Felipe was pulled out and sat on the bench, he collapsed in less than a minute, according to the publication. Coaches told the paper there appeared to be no warning signs.

A wife of one of the coaches performed CPR on Felipe until paramedics arrived, but he remained unconscious. The boy's family said he never experienced any heart problems, according to the OC Register.

The Hacienda Heights resident was the only player on the team who lived outside of Orange County. He was an eighth grader at Newton Middle School. Coach Ron Esparza told the paper that Felipe never missed the twice-a-week practices in Orange.

The team played a game at Westminster High School Sunday and dedicated it to Felipe. They thanked community members, who came out to show their support for the young player.

Before the game, both teams held a moment of silence for Felipe. They played with 10 players instead of 11 and used his soccer ball, according to the OC Register.

"He was a smiley, friendly and happy son, brother, teammate and friend who was only 13 years old," a statement said on a GoFundMe page.

If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe page, you may do so by clicking here.

A memorial service and funeral for Felipe will be held sometime after Sept. 5, according to the Register.

Related Topics:
sportschild deathsocceryouth soccerchildren's healthWestminsterOrange CountyHacienda HeightsLos Angeles County
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