(StraightNews.org) – A 17-year-old football player was found dead at his home in Georgia the day before he was due to represent his high school in a state championship game. Brandon Smith, from Manchester High School, around 70 miles from Atlanta, was pronounced dead on the morning of Sunday, December 10, but no cause of death was confirmed.
“The circumstances behind the tragedy are still being investigated and will be shared publicly by local authorities,” school officials saidr. According to local media, the teenager was reported missing on Saturday, December 11, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has confirmed it is assisting the Manchester Police Department with its investigation.
Brandon was due to play for Manchester High against Bowdon High School at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and a State Championship representative said the game would go ahead as planned. The Meriwether County School System issued a statement saying, “We are heartbroken to hear the news of the tragic and untimely death of one of our student-athletes. Brandon was a loyal teammate and friend who excelled on and off the field. He will be deeply missed.” In a letter to parents, the school board added that it continues to pray for Brandon’s friends and family.
Cody Alcorn, a reporter at 11alive, a Georgia media outlet, tweeted that the teenager’s coach had placed a note on Facebook saying Brandon was missing, but the post later disappeared. The tweet also contained a picture of a house thought to be connected with his death, but details remained unclear. The GBI said, however, that local police asked for its help in conducting a crime scene investigation.
Tributes were paid to the young footballer on social media, including from Melanie Baswell of the family liaison group at Troup County School System in the neighboring county. She described Smith as “sweet, loving, and compassionate” and said she was cheering for the Manchester Blue Devils. “Do it for Brandon,” she said.
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