Hartsville Football Player Dies During Game

9:38 AM, Oct 6, 2012   |    comments
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  • Ronald Rouse, (photo Facebook)
  • The Hartsville team prays after Ronald Rouse was taken from the game.
  • Ronald Rouse (Photo by Facebook)

HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WBTW, WLTX) -- A Hartsville football player died after being taken to the hospital during the game against Crestwood after he collapsed twice during the game Friday night.

The player, Ronald Rouse, first collapsed while on the field just after a play at about 8:15 pm. Officials and team coaches attended to Rouse for several minutes and he was able to walk under his own power.

The Morning News reported that principal Dr. Charlie Burry Jr. said that Rouse later died at the hospital.

As Rouse, a senior, walked to the edge of the field and collapsed again. This time, officials worked on him and gave him chest compressions. Later, a heart defibrillator machine was used on him.

An EMS unit was not present the first time Rouse collapsed, but was there to take him from the game after the second incident.

The game was stopped during both incidents. Rouse was taken to Carolina Pines Hospital where he underwent treatment, officials said.

A prayer was held for Rouse, who is listed as an offensive lineman, and the game restarted at 8:55 pm. The game was later canceled when word reached the game that Rouse died.

In an official message, Hartsville Mayor Mel Pennington asked for the community to "take a moment and ask God to be with this family, to help them find peace in this chaos, and to help this team deal with the grief and shock of losing a brother." 

Pennington also stated that all flags in Hartsville will be at half-staff in honor of Rouse "until we are able to lay his body to rest and pay our respects to Ronald's family."

Counselors also were waiting for the team's return Friday night, and will be available to the student body at the school Monday.

According to a statement on the Darlington County School District's Facebook page, an autopsy will be performed Saturday by the Darlington County Coroner.  

District Superintendent Dr. Rainey Knight also stated on the page, "'It's heartbreaking to lose a young man so full of promise'" and that "'Our thoughts and prayers are with Ronald's family, friends and teammates.'"

As a returning player, Rouse was a key part of the offensive line with reports from earlier this season listing him at 6' 3" tall and about 320 pounds.

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