High school football player collapses, dies during practice

The Brandon High School community is in shock following the sudden death of 17-year-old Phillip Laster Jr. (Source: WLBT)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 5:07 AM HST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT/Gray News) – A high school student in Mississippi died after he collapsed on the field during football practice on Monday.

The Brandon High School community is in shock following the sudden death of 17-year-old Phillip Laster Jr. He was just weeks away from starting his senior year and was determined to help his football team win the state title.

Laster’s body was taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office to rule a cause of death.

His family said Laster spent his final moments on the football field doing what he loved.

His father, Phillip Laster Sr., said he was driving when he received a call from his son’s football coach on Monday. By the time his father made it to the hospital, it was too late.

“[The coach] told me it would probably be best for me to just come on in if I could because it was a serious situation,” Phillip Laster Sr. said. “On my way, I got the call that they lost him.”

Phillip Laster Jr. leaves behind his parents and three siblings. His family remembers him as a “gentle giant” who was loved by many.

“I’m speechless that I’m not going to hear his footsteps coming through the door, or ‘Mom, what are you cooking?’ in his deep voice,” his mother, Ashanta Laster, said. “He was a lovely kid. I love my son.”

Phillip Laster Sr. said his son was the kind of person who no one could say a bad word about.

“It’s just hard to find anybody that has anything bad to say about this guy,” he said. “The outpouring of love is just a testament to what his life was like. This was a good kid.”

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