Lewisville Lions football coach Marvin Burke climbed onto the team bus following Friday night's scrimmage in the Chester County Football Jamboree. His task was daunting: how to tell his players that their teammate, Brian Colvin, was dead.
Colvin collapsed during Friday's scrimmage. He was taken to the hospital, and at 7:46 p.m. was pronounced dead.
"It's tough to tell about a best friend, a class mate, a teammate that has passed away," Burke said Saturday afternoon in the courtyard outside Lewisville High School. "This is a small community where everyone knows each other from kindergarten to high school."
The courtyard is where parents, family and friends gathered late Friday night as word spread of Colvin's death. Just a few people at first; then it became a crowded place where folks could help one another sort through their feelings.
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Earlier Friday at the jamboree, the Lewisville Lions ran a sweep to their opponents' side of the field. The play was designed to take advantage of Colvin's explosive speed. He had lined up at wide receiver.
Colvin, as he was known to do, sped past the Westminster Catawba Christian's defense. He gained about 15 yards before being bumped out of bounds. Whistles blew, the play came to an end.
Colvin got to his feet and began to trot back to the Lewisville's huddle when he fell face first to the ground and began shaking.
Westminster Catawba's defensive end Ian Brandt was in on the play. Colvin dashed out of Brandt's reach before getting to the sideline.
"When he got up we all were telling him he made a nice run and then I heard him (let out a yell)," Brandt said on Saturday afternoon. "I thought he had cramped up."
But the way Colvin fell, and the movements he made on the ground, made it apparent there was more happening. The players summoned athletic trainers. The trainers gave way to emergency medical technicians at the game. An ambulance carried Colvin to the hospital.
Lewisville football coach Marvin Burke saw the play. There was no hard hit. Colvin was pushed out of bounds. Burke thought perhaps Colvin had been poked in the eye. There were several players chasing Colvin to the sideline.
The game resumed.
A trainer told Burke at the conclusion of the game that Colvin had died. Burke shared the information with Westminster Catawba's coaches.
Brandt said he was shocked.
"I can't believe anything like that can happen in the game I love," he said. "It puts everything into perspective. The snap of a finger, any moment can be your last."
Burke made his way to the bus.
"I got on the bus and told the kids what happened. There aren't too many words you can say," Burke said, sitting on a bench in the courtyard.
"It is difficult now, we aren't in school. The kids don't have their favorite teachers to go to or their peers. We have to make ourselves available. Our main focus is the kids. It's all a learning experience."