Although there has been no official ruling yet in the death of Kadin Roberts-Day, a Joplin High School student, it appears asthma was a contributing factor, Jasper County Coroner Rob Chappel said Thursday.
"It just seems like at this point it was an obviously severe asthma attack," Chappel said. "Overexertion is not something we see at this point."
Roberts-Day, a sophomore at Joplin High School, died shortly after an indoor football practice at Kaminsky Gymnasium on Wednesday. The school district said the death was due to cardiac arrest.
Chappel said Roberts-Day had been diagnosed with asthma and had an inhaler. He said that if airways constrict, it can lead to organ failure, including heart stoppage.
"At this point, we are not doing an autopsy," Chappel said. "At this point, we are reviewing his medical history."
He also said a toxicology report will be done, which is normal procedure.
The Joplin School District also announced Thursday that after meeting with Webb City officials, Friday night's game against Webb City has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at Cardinal Stadium in Webb City.
Blake Tash, a senior and the Eagles' quarterback, told the Globe: "We are playing for him now. Talk is cheap and we are playing for more than talk. He was our brother."
Justin Crawford, a spokesperson for the district, said the Joplin football team gathered at Junge Stadium on Wednesday night after Roberts-Day's death and met with coaches, crisis counselors and school counselors. Counselors from around the district, as well as nearby schools, also were on hand Thursday at the school.
Asked if any kind of review of events is planned, Crawford said, "As in any type of crisis incident, the district debriefs and reviews the incident."
Both Crawford and Jason West, communications director for the Missouri State High School Activities Association, confirmed Thursday that all coaches and assistant coaches for the Joplin football team have the required certifications to coach.
"All head coaches and assistants, in order to be certified, are required to have CPR training," West said.
Training can occur through the Red Cross, a hospital or from an athletic trainer certified to teach it. Which method they pursue for training is up to them, West said.
He also said that MSHSAA doesn't have authority to investigate or look into a student death.
"To review cases, that is out of our purview," he said.
West said MSHSAA wants schools to develop action plans and have training.
"We never want to see something like this, but we want to make sure the school is in a position to handle something like this," he said.
West said all student-athletes are required to have an up-to-date physical, which is every two years for MSHSAA, but schools can have tougher requirements. MSHSAA also "strongly recommends" schools have an AED, or automated external defibrillator, but it does not require it.
Crawford said the Joplin School District has an AED in the gym, but could not confirm whether it was used Wednesday.
Roberts-Day was a 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound offensive lineman. His twin brother also is on the team, the Associated Press reported.
The organizers of an annual auction have repurposed an item to benefit the family of Roberts-Day.
The item is a Joplin High School football jersey signed by members of the 2019 team. Roberts-Day's signature is located on the jersey's lower right front corner. Originally available through the Jeff Wagner "Wags" Memorial Golf Tournament, organizers on Wednesday said funds raised for the jersey will instead be donated to his family, according to a statement on its Facebook page.
Donations can be dropped off at the Glades Law Firm, located at 1120 SE Murphy Blvd. in Joplin, or online through Venmo.com, searching for "wags-memorial."
G&S Graphix has designed a special game-day T-shirt in memory of the player. Designed with the family's feedback, it is red (his favorite color, according to the business' Facebook page) and depicts a football icon with the Joplin High School Eagle logo and his number, 63.
"We are not wanting to profit from this tragic loss, but still have a way for teammates and community to show their respect," the business said in a Facebook post.
The shirts will be available for $3.50 each (additional charges for sizes larger than XL apply), and they will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8 a.m. Friday at the store, located at 5205 S. Range Line Road.
Only cash will be accepted, according to the business' Facebook page, and pre-orders or calls will not be taken.