A Connecticut community is in shock and mourning after a tragic incident at a high school football practice led to the death of a student. Windsor High School is grappling with the loss of 15-year-old Elijah-Jay Mariano Rivera, who lost consciousness during a football practice on Tuesday.

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The school district superintendent, Terrence Hill, conveyed the devastating news to families in a letter, revealing that Rivera collapsed during practice and was immediately attended to by police and emergency medical technicians who administered CPR. Windsor Mayor Donald Trinks stated that the coaching staff began CPR efforts right away, even before the arrival of the police.

Regrettably, further details regarding the student’s death have not been disclosed, as district officials have not provided any additional information at this time. The community is left in a state of mourning, and many are seeking answers.

Who was Elijah-Jay Mariano Rivera?

Elijah-Jay Mariano Rivera’s mother, Chastity Hernandez, shared that her son was deeply passionate about football and cars. It had been his lifelong dream to play for his favorite NFL team, the Atlanta Falcons. Describing her son, she said, “He was the most kind-hearted boy, a gentle giant.”

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Born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2007, Rivera had moved to Connecticut in 2010 but returned to Texas in 2019. According to his mother, he decided to return to Connecticut to refocus on his education and his football aspirations, a move that would ultimately bring this tragic incident into the lives of his family and the entire Windsor High School community.