Rueben Marcano, a member of the Northeast junior varsity football team, died on Tuesday while preparing to go to school. According to head coach Jeremy Frioud, Marcano fell while showering and never regained consciousness, but the official cause of death is unknown.
Marcano, 14, played in the team's preseason game two weeks ago against St. Petersburg. He never played football prior to coming to Northeast. At 6-feet-5 and over 300 pounds, Marcano showed much promise as a lineman, Frioud said.
"He was doing well and making friends," Frioud said. "He was a really happy kid who loved the New England Patriots and decided he wanted to give football a try. The team is pretty broken up about it."
Northeast plays at Pinellas Park on Friday night. The Vikings play at home on Sept. 7 against Gibbs. Frioud said there will be a tribute to Marcano at that game. While details haven't been confirmed, T-shirts will be made and both the JV and varsity teams will wear Marcano's No. 72 on their helmets.
"We are dedicating the season to him," Frioud said.