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Boy who collapsed in football game dies

A 14-year-old boy who collapsed during a Citrus High School junior varsity football game died Friday at an Ocala hospital.

Chip Stoskopf of Inverness had been taken late Thursday to Munroe Regional Medical Center, where doctors worked through the night trying to stabilize him.

The exact cause of his death was unknown although hospital officials said the youth apparently suffered cardiac arrest, according to hospital spokesman Bill Mansfield.

"It's hard to determine the cause because there was no injury, no trauma, nothing like that," Mansfield said.

It will be up to the boy's family to decide whether an autopsy will be performed, he said.

Stoskopf, a freshman wide receiver, slumped to the field during his first play of the game between Citrus High and Lake Weir High School in Lake Weir.

Teammate Joel Hammack said Stoskopf had participated in only one play when it happened.

"He went in, he went through the play. He didn't even get hit. He was walking back to the huddle and he fell over," said Hammack, adding that it was the boy's first action in four games this season.

Citrus High principal Ed Staten said officials were baffled by the tragedy.

He said all players must be cleared medically to participate in the sport.

"The best we have been able to determine, there was no contact that we could determine that would have led up to this," Staten told the Ocala Star Banner.