Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Downey Teen Dies After Collapsing During Football Game

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
Your donation today keeps LAist independent, ready to meet the needs of our city, and paywall free. Thank you for your partnership, we can't do this without you.

A Downey football player has died two days after collapsing during a game at Lynwood High, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center officials announced today.

Dodi Soza, 16, was a junior running back at Downey High School. He had been listed in critical condition since collapsing. He was not breathing when Los Angeles County Firefighters reached him, KTLA reports.

After first being taken to nearby St. Francis Medical Center, Soza was transferred to Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach where he died, according to ABC 7. He had been transferred there to be treated by brain injury specialists, his friends told CNS.

His friends and family had been praying for his recovery. On Twitter, #PrayForDodi was trending Thursday night, ABC reported.

Support for LAist comes from

Downey High School students wore white on Friday to show their support for Soza and several of his friends and teammates went to the hospital to visit with his family, ABC reports.

"He's very well known around the school. He's a great running back. He's a good friend," teammate Mario Galvan told ABC.

The mayor of the city of Downey also confirmed Soza’s passing: "Our community mourns the passing of one of own today... Our broken hearts are with his family. God bless him,” Downey Mayor Mario A. Guerra tweeted Saturday.

It's unclear if playing football led to Soza's death. An autopsy will be conducted to determine how he died. Hospital spokeswoman Rochele Steele told CNS that federal privacy laws prohibit the release of the time or cause of death.

Support for LAist comes from