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News

Online Memorials Commemorate Burbank High Football Player Following Apparent Suicide

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Matt Smyser, KTLA
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Burbank High School is mourning the death of Matthew Robert Smyser, a reportedly outgoing and popular 17-year-old student who unexpectedly died on Tuesday night in what is believed to be a suicide.
According to the Burbank Leader, Smyser's body was found in his home in Shadow Hills. Grief counselors were sent to Burbank High to help students and teachers cope with the loss. Hector Valencia, Smyser's football coach, told the Leader that the teen was well-liked among his classmates.

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

Meanwhile, online memorials have popped up to Smyser, many of them suggesting that no one saw the suicide coming. In a Tumblr called messages to ether, a person affiliated with Burbank High School writes:

Last night, one of our students took his life. This tragedy was a shock to his teachers, classmates, and even his close friends- everyone says Matt was always such a positive, social, and loving person. I did not know Matt personally, but the juxtaposition of his outward demeanor and his now apparent inward struggle astonishes and horrifies me. It makes it apparent that we can never truly know what goes on in even the most gregarious of minds, and tells me that this could have been any one of my closest friends.
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On Twitter, Smyser's friends are venting their grief, some using the tag #RIPMATTSMYSER. A girl with the handle Collee writes, "I love you Matthew Smyser forever and always. I will never forget you! I wish you were right next to me right now #RIPMATTSMYSER."

Dylan Mersola writes, "Matt u will always be with me and always be loved. u were my best friend and I'll never let u go. Everything I accomplish will be for u❤ RIP."