Sad news out of Texarkana, Texas. Leonard Parks, a senior at Texas High School, passed away last night in his sleep.
A Texarkana, Texas school spokesperson says his cause of death appears to be medically induced. His body has been sent to Dallas for autopsy. The spokesperson says Parks played in Friday night’s football game as usual, and he was fine on Saturday. His mother left their home around 6pm Saturday, returned home around 9pm, and found the teen dead. He had no known medical issues, according to the school official.
The school’s football coach gathered with students on Sunday. Superintendent Paul Norton said next Friday’s big rivalry game against Arkansas High is still on the schedule for now, as long as the team wants to play. But the school’s plan, he said, is to do what’s best for the students. Norton said, “He lit up a room when he.. when Leonard walked in a room you knew Leonard was in the room, I mean it wasn’t just because of his stature it was because of the kind of young man that he was and had become. Great young man, had a football scholarship to SMU, which means you’re not just a great football player, you’re a great kid and you have the grades to get into SMU.”
Grief counseling will be available when students return to school on Tuesday. Details on funeral arrangements are not yet finalized, but the funeral could take place as soon as Saturday.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral costs.
Parks was committed to play college football at SMU.
SMU released a statement offering condolences to the Parks family.
Our hearts go out to Leonard Parks’ family, friends, Coach Stanford, Texas High and the whole Texarkana community.— #PonyUpTempo (@SMU_Football) September 3, 2017