- Associated Press - Monday, September 29, 2014

SALEM, N.J. (AP) - A youth football player who collapsed on the field during a practice in southern New Jersey last week has died.

But authorities say it’s still not clear what caused the death of 12-year-old Jeremiah “Lil’J” Pierce.

The South Jersey Times (https:// bit.ly/1u6k835) reports the Salem boy was practicing and running drills with his teammates on Sept. 23 when coaches say he collapsed on the field.

The boy was taken to a local hospital and was later moved to the A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware, where he died on Sunday.

Salem Midget Football assistant coach Cody Loatman told the newspaper that Pierce was a jokester, someone who liked to laugh and make people laugh.

“He was an outgoing kid,” Loatman said. “He always came to practice on time and he loved football.”

Loatman has started an online fundraising campaign to raise funds for the Pierce family and help pay for medical and funeral expenses.

Team members plan to gather Monday night at the football practice field to mourn Pierce’s death and honor his memory.

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Information from: South Jersey Times (Woodbury, N.J.), https://nj.com/southjerseytimes

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