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Ashland-area community mourns death of teen who collapsed at Homecoming game

NANKIN — The Ashland-area community is grappling to cope with a teen’s death Friday night after she collapsed during pregame Homecoming festivities.

The school’s sports teams, the business community and area school districts alike have all issued statements responding to the death of Breanne McKean, 17.

The senior Homecoming Queen candidate died Friday night after collapsing on the football field during festivities prior to the game between the Mounties and South Central.

IMG 7193 1 scaled - Ashland-area community mourns death of teen who collapsed at Homecoming game
Mapleton students, staff and parents are shown here on the football field after learning a student passed away who had collapsed during pregame Homecoming festivities. Credit: Doug Haidet

After school officials were informed at halftime that McKean had passed away, Mapleton head coach Matt Stafford and South Central head coach Derek Fisher met with the referees and decided to suspend the game, according to previous Ashland Source reporting.

Jenny Taylor, an investigator with the Ashland County Coroner’s Office, said Saturday McKean’s body has been transported to Lucas County for an autopsy.

Taylor said the teen’s cause of death has not been determined and declined to offer additional details.

Mapleton’s response

On Saturday morning, Mapleton Local Schools announced via a Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) post that the Homecoming dance scheduled for Saturday night was canceled.

Mapleton Local Schools sent Ashland Source a press release later in the afternoon.

“It is with a heavy heart that the Mapleton Local School District announces the passing of Bre McKean, a senior at Mapleton High School, on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 due to a medical emergency during homecoming festivities prior to the football game.

“Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the McKean family, friends and the Mapleton community,” the release stated.

It also stated the student body was notified on Friday night. Mapleton staff and grief counselors were available to students immediately after the announcement.

Grief counselors will continue to be available for students on Monday, Oct. 2, when they return to school. The release said those counselors would be provided by community partners at Appleseed Community Mental Health Center, the Ashland County Ministerial Association and psi Associates.

All Mapleton athletics events have been canceled through Oct. 4.

The release promised additional information would be communicated as it becomes available.

The Mapleton volleyball team also posted on Facebook. McKean was a senior on the team.

The account made a post stating that a youth volleyball camp planned for Sunday would be canceled, along with the team’s scheduled games for this week.

“Please pray for the McKean family, our volleyball family and the Mapleton community,” the post stated.

According to MaxPreps, the team had an away game scheduled for Oct. 5 against Crestview.

Mapleton High School’s cheer team posted on Instagram, too.

Ashland-area community mourns death of teen who collapsed at Homecoming game
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