Riverside high school football players honor fallen teammate

A 16-year-old Riverside football player who collapsed during a scrimmage and later died was honored Thursday by family and friends at the team’s first game of the season.

Tyler Lewellen, a junior at Arlington High School, was remembered as a fierce competitor who loved football.

“He would’ve been proud of us for not giving up,” Tyler’s friend Raul Larios told KTLA-TV of the game against Chino Hills High School on Thursday night.

Lewellen was pronounced clinically dead Tuesday. He was hospitalized Aug. 22 after being injured during a practice game with Rubidoux High School.

Tyler collapsed on the sidelines after walking off the field. He was taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where he never regained consciousness.

A cause of death has not been determined.

On Thursday, players wore No. 33 decals on their helmets to honor their fallen teammate. Family members also attended the game in support.

“We were just extremely lucky to have him when we did,” Tyler’s stepfather, John York, told KTLA.

The family told the station that Tyler was an organ donor. Coroner's officials said an autopsy is still pending.

Earlier this week, the Riverside Unified School District sent crisis counselors and psychologists to the school to help students and teachers deal with the tragedy.

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carla.rivera@latimes.com

Twitter: @CarlaRiveraLat

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