Burbank High football player took his own life, officials say

The death Tuesday night of a Burbank High School football player has been a ruled a suicide.

Matthew Smyser, a 17-year-old junior, died at his home in Shadow Hills Tuesday night. Los Angeles County coroner’s officials on Thursday confirmed the official cause of death as suicide following an autopsy.

Burbank Unified officials were notified of the death Wednesday morning by members of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Crisis Response Team, and a school-wide announcement was made a short time later.

Grief counselors were made available on campus Wednesday and Thursday, with special attention paid to Matthew’s teachers and close friends, Supt. Stan Carrizosa said.

The student played wide receiver and linebacker on Burbank High School’s varsity football team, coach Hector Valencia said.

“He was very friendly and was polite with a great deal of character,” Valencia said. “He was very positive, and he was a kid that you could trust.”

Football practice was suspended Wednesday.


Burbank High School football player remembered as 'friendly' and 'positive'

-- Megan O'Neil, Times Community News

Twitter: @megankoneil


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