An Ohio high school student collapsed on the football field and died — shortly after being introduced as a contender for Homecoming Queen.
Breanne McKean, 17, attended Mapleton High School in Ashland. She died Friday of an undisclosed “medical emergency,” according to a statement from the school district.
Breanne was the daughter of the school’s athletic director, Tim McKean.
He told News 5 Cleveland that Breanne – affectionately known as Bre – died at Ashland Hospital.
She collapsed after being introduced as a member of the homecoming field, on the football field where Mapleton was scheduled to play rival South Central.
Breanne touched many lives and “was everything to us,” her father said.
She was a passionate athlete and had received several varsity letters or recognition awards praising her involvement in volleyball, basketball and softball.
Breanne McKean, 17, attended Mapleton High School in Ashland, Ohio. She collapsed on the soccer field Friday and was taken to a local hospital, where she died
Breanne – or “Bre” – had just been announced as a member of the homecoming court
She was a star athlete who excelled in several sports, earning a varsity letter in volleyball, softball and basketball
The 17-year-old was also the daughter of the school’s athletic director, Tim McKean
After learning of her death at halftime, coaches from Mapleton and the rival school decided to suspend the football game
Mapleton head coach Matt Stafford and South Central head coach Derek Fisher opted to suspend the game after hearing at halftime that the teen had died.
The teams and student body were informed of Breanna’s death.
Her body was taken to Lucas County for an autopsy.
The Mapleton Local School District announced that the homecoming dance scheduled for Saturday had been canceled and that all athletic events through Oct. 4 would be canceled.
Students also had the opportunity to meet with grief counselors on Monday.
A message was posted on the Mapleton Local Schools Facebook page that read: “It is with heavy hearts that the Mapleton Local School District announces the passing of Bre McKean.
“Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the McKean family, friends and the Mapleton community.”
The district thanked the South Central community for their “sympathy and support” on the night of Breanne’s death, adding, “We would also like to thank our Mapleton community and surrounding school districts and communities for their continued support, encouragement and prayers during this difficult period. time.’
At the end of a game on September 29, football players from Ontario High School and Pleasant High School knelt on the field to pray.
Most telling of Breanne’s impact were the tributes friends and loved ones posted on social media.
“As many have said, knowing Bre meant loving Bre,” one student wrote.
“From the outside looking in, you can see that Bre loves life… in every photo she is smiling… always with her friends, she has so many.”
She added that Breanne came into a room “dancing, singing, screaming, laughing or making vlogs” and said, “We just miss you so much, but we’re trying to be happy, for you…our sweet, funny, beautiful , kind, perfect angel.’
A friend posted a tribute on Facebook describing Breanne as “our sweet, funny, beautiful, kind, perfect angel” and said, “If you look from the outside in, you can see that Bre is loving life… every photo that she is smiling’
Mike Leibolt, the teen’s softball coach, posted his own message in Breanne’s memory, saying he was “still at a loss for words.”
“No more random photos showing up in my photos that I didn’t take because my phone was hacked or on blogs,” Leibolt wrote, sharing some of her selfies
Friends left flowers and stuffed animals in Breanne’s designated parking lot at the high school
Mike Leibolt, who coached Breanne for softball, posted a message in her honor.
“We all lost a special person when Bre was taken too soon,” he wrote.
‘She touched so many people in so many different ways, especially with that infectious smile.
“It will be difficult for most of us to move on, but we know you would want us to, so we will suffer through it and carry on. You may be gone, but never forgotten.”
The coach shared a series of selfies Bre took on his phone while she waited in the dugout.
Classmates scattered bouquets of flowers in Breanne’s parking lot at the high school.
It has her name painted on it – a tradition for students – and ‘2024’, the year she would have graduated.