St. Joe’s Prep Holds Prayer Service for Student Who Died at Football Practice

15-year-old Ryan Gillyard collapsed in front of teammates.

Today, Prep students, faculty and staff gathered for a prayer service in memory of our brother, Ryan Gillyard ’18.

Posted by St. Joseph’s Prep on Monday, April 20, 2015

St. Joe’s Prep this morning held a prayer service for Ryan Gillyard, a 15-year-old student who collapsed Saturday morning during a football team practice; he was declared dead at Temple University Hospital soon after.

6ABC reports: “Grief counselors were on hand at St. Joseph’s Prep Monday after a freshman football player collapsed and died during practice.”

The Delco Daily Times adds:

Gillyard played running back and linebacker for the freshman team last fall, [Bill] Avington [director of alumni and public relations] said. He was taking part in a routine off-season conditioning program at Brady Field, which is located at 11th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue in North Philadelphia.

“They did CPR immediately,” said Athletic Director Jim Murray. “Every one of our coaches is CPR-certified and every team has an AED (automated external defibrilator). We’ve been way ahead of the curve on that stuff.”

NBC Philadelphia notes: “Gillyard’s final tweet, which was posted early Saturday morning, was retweeted over 200 times as friends and family shared their condolences.” The retweets had grown to nearly 600 as of Monday afternoon.

The school posted this announcement on Sunday:

We are saddened by yesterday’s sudden passing of Ryan Gillyard ’18. Ryan was a great person and someone we were proud to…

Posted by St. Joseph’s Prep on Sunday, April 19, 2015

The cause of Gillyard’s death has not yet been determined. Funeral arrangements are reportedly pending.