Students show support for Downey football player who collapsed

DOWNEY, Calif.

Sixteen-year-old junior running back Dodi Soza is in critical condition after collapsing during a JV football game at Lynwood High School Thursday afternoon.

After first being taken to nearby St. Francis Medical Center, Soza was transferred to Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach.

Many Downey High School students wore white on Friday to show their support for Soza. Some of Soza's friends and teammates went to the hospital to visit with his family.

"His mom is a very strong woman. It's something that nobody wants to go through. It's tough for her and I understand. We need to keep them in our prayers, wish them the best," said friend Martin Ponce. "He's a tough guy. He'll pull through."

On Friday morning, cheerleaders from Warren High School, Downey's rival, showed their support for Soza by stringing white balloons along the front of the school.

"It's kind of cool that we can all come together. It's the week before rivalry and like we're still coming together. There were a lot of people that are still hurt. A lot of girls in my class were like really crying," said student Gabriela Solis.

The school district provided counseling for the students on Friday.

"We actually have our school psychologist, extra counselors and support from the surrounding schools," said Robert Jagielski with the Downey Unified School District.

The varsity game between Lynwood and Downey will take place as scheduled Friday night at Downey High School.

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