GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA)- Tragedy struck Dutch Fork High School on Tuesday when a football player died after collapsing on the field.
Seventeen-year-old Jack Alkhatib, an offensive lineman at Dutch Fork, was at football practice when he collapsed on the field and died.
They were scheduled to play Gaffney High School Friday night.
The Upstate football community was stunned by the news.
The showdown between rivals Gaffney and Dutch Fork was cancelled.
“I remember telling my wife, first thing I don’t want to hear about is if we were going to play Friday because someone just lost their life,” Athletic Director at Gaffney Terrence Scriven said.
The Indians rescheduled their Friday game to play Summerville High School, but they aren’t forgetting Dutch Fork, especially Alkhatib.
“Our staff jumped on it and sent flowers and social media blew up with condolences and prayers and thoughts,” Scriven said.
At Friday’s game fans will see a poster with Alkhatib’s picture on it as they walk in.
Gaffney’s booster club has set up a fundraiser for the family and a portion of the money made at the game will also go to the family.
Gaffney’s booster club president Billy Richards said, “It kind of started as a way to let that community and that family know that while we’re rivals on the field, we’re all still parents and we’re all still in this together.”
Richards saying this just shows how much power a community can have when they come together.
“Sports always brings us together, but when something like this happens even outside of our community, Gaffney is a great town to rally to the aid of people, just come out and show support. Whether it’s monetary or food or anything,” Richards said.
If you want to give to the fund set up by the Gaffney Booster Club you can send cash or a check to the school’s district office. There’s also a Venmo account set up called @GaffneyFootballBoosterClub.