17-Year-Old New York High School Football Player Dies After Practice from Medical Emergency

Miguel Lugo is being remembered as "a vibrant and healthy boy who lit up any room that he walked in"

Miguel Lugo
Miguel Lugo. Photo: GoFundMe

A New York family is mourning after a high school football player died suddenly following a football practice.

Miguel Lugo, 17, reportedly suffered a medical emergency on Monday during the first practice of the season after COVID-19 related delays, USA Today reported. Lugo was taken to a hospital, where he died.

A cause of death has yet to be determined, and Lugo's family members are left questioning how their otherwise healthy son died so suddenly.

"My 17 year old nephew Miguel Antonio Lugo tragically passed suddenly on Monday evening at football practice," the teenager's aunt, Angela Morales, wrote in a GoFundMe campaign set up to raise money for funeral expenses. "He was a vibrant and healthy boy who lit up any room that he walked in. Now his family is left here to wonder why. Why Miguel."

Morales described her nephew as having "a heart of gold" and said he was loved "dearly" by all who knew him.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

"We will never know why the Lord took him home so soon, clearly he needed an angel so he took one of the best," Morales wrote in the GoFundMe campaign, which had raised more than $31,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.

The Wallkill Central School District issued a statement on Twitter, remembering Lugo's "kindness," "compassion" and "charming smile."

"Heartbreak and tragedy facing our community with the passing of senior Miguel Lugo," the district's athletic program tweeted Tuesday. "Deepest condolences to Miguel's family. His kindness and compassion for others were always on display, and his charming smile will forever be missed in our halls."

Chairman of New York's Section 9 football committee David Coates told USA Today that Lugo's death is "extremely sad."

"You hate to see it happen to anybody, but being so young, Miguel had his whole life ahead of him," he said. "Our heart and prayers go out to the Lugo family and to the Wallkill community. Just sad, an extremely sad day for Section 9 football."

Related Articles