18-Year-Old Star Football Player Found Dead in Church after Dying Suddenly

An 18-year-old star football player has been found dead in a Mississippi church after dying suddenly, according to reports.

The body of Mississippi State University player Samuel Westmoreland was found at the Blackjack Missionary Baptist Church on Wednesday, just two days before his 19th birthday.

According to a report from TMZ Sports, “a spokesperson for the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office says they discovered the offensive lineman’s body after they were called out to Blackjack Missionary Baptist Church in Starkville regarding a death investigation.”

That spokesperson added that responding officers swept the scene upon arrival, but cleared it after a few hours.

Police have not released a cause of death as they are still actively investigating the incident.

However, authorities believe they have “no reason to suspect foul play.”

Mississippi State University announced Westmoreland’s death Wednesday.

He was 18 years old and would have turned 19 on Friday.

“The university is working cooperatively with the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office, the Oktibbeha County Coroner’s Office, the MSU Division of Student Affairs, and the MSU Athletics Department to determine the facts of this incident and will have no further comment until that assessment is completed,” read a statement on the university’s athletic department website.

Statements from the president of MSU as well as head football coach Mike Leach expressed their condolences and sadness at the loss of Westmoreland.

“One of the most profound lessons I’ve learned while leading this great university is that the tragic loss of one of our students diminishes all of our students—and all of us at Mississippi State feel the impact of Sam Westmoreland’s death,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum.

“My prayers are with Sam’s family and friends, with his MSU teammates and coaches, and with the Tupelo community during this most difficult time.”

A statement from Head Football Coach Mike Leach said: “The Mississippi State Athletics Family is heartbroken by the sudden death of Sam Westmoreland.

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“Sam was a beloved son, brother, and teammate, and a tremendous young man with a limitless future.

“He will always be remembered and deeply missed by everyone who knew and loved him.

“The entire MSU Family mourns as our thoughts and prayers go out to the Westmoreland family.

“Our highest priority is the support of the Westmoreland family and our student-athletes during this troubling time.”

No details were released by the university about the cause of Westmoreland’s death and the school said that it was cooperating with an ongoing investigation into the matter by Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office and the Oktibbeha County Coroner’s Office.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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