A high school football standout in South Carolina died during surgery to repair a leg injury, according to the school district and media reports.
Nick Dixon, a senior at Spartanburg High School, died Friday afternoon during a surgical procedure, according to a post Saturday night on the Spartanburg School District 7 Facebook page. He suffered complications while doctors repaired a torn ACL and meniscus, a family friend told WSPA.
“He excelled on the turf and off, contributing to the team and to his community,” the statement on the district’s Facebook page reads. “... Anyone who knows Nick describes him as everyone’s best friend. A talented and highly respected student-athlete.”
Dixon played linebacker, defensive line and running back, and played in the NC-SC Shrine Bowl last month. He had offers to play at the collegiate level from Georgia State University, North Greenville University and The Citadel, according to 247Sports.
“He could go anywhere he wanted to as far as school,” Spartanburg coach Chris Miller said, according to The Spartanburg Herald-Journal. “He was very intelligent. He was a smart young man. And on the field, when Nick wanted to play, he flipped that switch and nobody could stop him. There was proof of that at the Shrine Bowl. He was going toe-to-toe with the big guys until he got his knee hurt, and he even tried to go a couple plays after that.”
Dixon’s final post on Twitter was a video clip on Dec. 30 from the Shrine Bowl, in which a commentator is heard talking about the colleges interested in Dixon while the camera follows him on the field during the game. With it, Dixon posted three words: “Not done yet.”
Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said an autopsy will determine what killed the 18-year-old, the Herald-Journal reported.
A candlelight vigil to honor the late football player will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday on the Spartanburg High School football field.
A GoFundMe account to help cover burial expenses has been set up and has raised more than $11,000 toward its $15,000 goal as of Sunday morning.