Counselors help high school cope with sudden death of football player

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Coaches and classmates describe Carlos Sanchez as a good kid with a big heart, who loved to play football. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Coaches and classmates describe Carlos Sanchez as a good kid with a big heart, who loved to play football. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A memorial outside the school office continued to grow Monday as Sanchez's friends stop by to pay their respects. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A memorial outside the school office continued to grow Monday as Sanchez's friends stop by to pay their respects. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Head coach Seth Millican couldn't hold back the tears when he spoke to reporters. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Head coach Seth Millican couldn't hold back the tears when he spoke to reporters. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Sanchez played linebacker. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Sanchez played linebacker. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
It is unclear whether Sanchez had a prior medical condition. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) It is unclear whether Sanchez had a prior medical condition. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

It was an emotional day at Moon Valley High School in Phoenix Monday, following the death of a 16-year-old football player, who collapsed during a game Friday night.

Coaches and classmates describe Carlos Sanchez as a good kid with a big heart, who loved to play football.

Head coach Seth Millican couldn't hold back the tears when he spoke to reporters.

[RAW VIDEO: Moon Valley football coach statement about player death]

"I hope his family can find some peace in knowing that Carlos Sanchez will live as a symbol of all that is pure," he said.

Emotions were also running high on campus where counselors and therapy dogs were brought in to help students and teachers cope with what happened.

A memorial outside the school office continued to grow Monday as Sanchez's friends stop by to pay their respects.

Juliette Martinez has known Sanchez since elementary school.

"He was such a genuine person, that even if people didn't know him, they're still heartbroken over it," said Martinez. "It's been a hard day today."

Questions remain about how Sanchez died.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Moon Valley HS football player dies after collapsing on field]

Initial reports indicated that Sanchez had a seizure during the game. 

According to a state athletic official, Sanchez was playing defense when he was blocked, then fell back and hit his head.

It is unclear whether Sanchez had a prior medical condition.

"My team is full of young men who will go into the world and treat people in a better way because of Carlos' influence," said Millican. "They will be more able to teach their future children the values that Carlos Sanchez exemplified."

A candlelight vigil will be held on campus Tuesday night from 7-8 p.m.

The Moon Valley Parent Booster Club has set up a GoFundMe page to help the Sanchez family with the cost of funeral expenses.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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