Spartanburg High mourns loss of coach and football player

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The Spartanburg High School family is in mourning after two tragic deaths in three days.

Senior Nick Dixon, known as “Number 7” to his football teammates and coaches, passed away Friday in the hospital.

Head Athletic Trainer Bryant Rose, a man who spent 25 years with the school, died on Monday morning.

Spartanburg School District 7 officials says neither of them will be forgotten.

Of all the blood, sweat and tears that these high school football players are used to, it’s that last one that has most lately overwhelmed the Spartanburg Vikings.

“Still in shock, I was still in shock in Nick and now Coach Rose on top of it,” said Spartanburg High Football Coach Chris Miller.

On Monday morning, 58-year-old Bryant Rose, the athletic trainer of Spartanburg High for 25 years died from a blood clot after having surgery last week.

His death comes just days after 18-year-old Nick Dixon died from anesthesia-related complications ahead of knee surgery.

“It’s heartbreaking. I’m worried about how much our staff and our students can take, but I’m also, I’m optimistic. I know they’re resilient,” said Superintendent Dr. Russell Booker.

As if the impact to District 7 wasn’t already devastating enough, Coach Rose’s wife is the principal of Jesse Boyd Elementary, the same school where a crossing guard was killed in a hit and run last year. 

The couple’s 9th and 11th grade boys also attend Spartanburg High School.

Coach Rose had been shaken by Dixon’s death.

“He was insistant on saturday that he wanted to go to see the famliy, because he had been devasted by Nick’s death so they did what they could, they got him up, they cooked food, they went to visit the family.”   

But Rose was not well enough to attend Dixon’s vigil on Sunday night. The same community now mourns his loss.

“We call ourselves the Viking family, so we’re going to stick together and hold onto each other,” said Coach Miller.

Friends have set up this Go Fund Me Page for Dixon’s family.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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