Heart condition claims athlete

Published 1:19 pm Monday, September 12, 2011

Brian Rushing

CAPRON—A heart condition led to the death of a Southampton High School football player in his sleep, a family spokesman said Tuesday.

Preliminary autopsy results show that Brian Rushing’s death was not related to any injuries during Friday night’s game against Franklin, said the Rev. Charles Worth.

“He suffered no life-threatening injuries from football,” Worth said. “Any exertion would have brought on this condition.”

The family was unaware of Brian’s heart condition.

Glenn McBride, district administrator for the chief medical examiner in Norfolk, could not confirm the family’s comments on Tuesday. McBride said Monday it could take “days” to complete additional tests.

Rushing, a senior defensive tackle, died in his sleep Saturday morning.

This was the first year at Southampton for the son of Donna Rushing of Capron and the late Derek Donald Scott Rushing. Brian had previously attended and played football at Franklin High School and was “a great student and great athlete,” according to his former coach and teacher.

“He was a great young man,” said Franklin Coach Darren Parker. “He always had a positive attitude and always wanted to do whatever he could to help his fellow students.”

The family is struggling with the 17-year-old’s death.

“Losing a child is something we’re not wired for,” Worth said. “They take peace in the fact that Brian had accepted Christ.”

Worth, who is pastor of True Word Christian Church, where Rushing was a member, said Brian could always make him laugh.

“He was a good kid,” Worth said. “I can’t say enough platitudes about him.”

A remembrance service will be held for Brian at 7 p.m. today, Sept. 14, at True Word Christian, where he was a member of the youth group and helped set up audio-visual equipment. The service is for youth to talk and remember Brian. The church is at General Thomas Highway and Rose Valley Road in the former W.T. Riddick Construction building.

The funeral will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, in the auditorium of Southampton High School with Worth officiating. Interment will follow in Capron Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at Wright Funeral Home, Franklin, and after the funeral at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4411 at the Franklin airport.