Byhalia football team drug tested as team honors player who died

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BYHALIA, Miss.  —  There has been an interesting development in Byhalia sophomore, Dennis Mitchell’s death. Byhalia Police Chief Gary Looney told WREG the entire football team took a drug test Friday as part of their investigation after Mitchell collapsed and died during an away game last week.

He said the drug tests were completed with parents' consent.

While investigators work to learn a cause of death, loved ones and friends prepared to say goodbye at a place Mitchell spent his final moments.

Classmates and fans wore #66 on their shirts in his remembrance and the team even placed his helmet and jersey on the sideline as they played  their first home game without him this year.

Byhalia native Ronnie Hearn and his sister Jerlene Reed decided to go to the game to not only support their nephew who is on the team, but to pay their respects to his friend and teammate.

“I decided to just cut it up in honor of him and put his name and number on the back,” Reed said as she referenced her shirt.

The two said Mitchell’s death came as a shock and devastation to the community. And their nephew has been at a loss for words.

“I see him every day and I could tell it effected him as a friend, to lose a friend that way,” Hearn said.

How Mitchell died is still being determined. WREG is waiting to hear back from the medical examiner.

Many are expected to gather Saturday morning for Mitchell’s funeral.

Several people had a donation box set up Friday night with a proceeds going to the Mitchell family.


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