An Apalachee High rising senior and member of the football team died unexpectedly Monday morning.
Jordan Bracken-Howley, 17, had played offensive and defensive line the last two seasons for the Wildcats and had practiced with the team again this summer to prepare for a third season.
Wildcats football coach Shane Davis told the Barrow County News that Bracken-Howley had complained to his parents Sunday night of a headache and being nauseous. They gave him some medicine and sent him to bed, and in the morning Davis said his dad found him unresponsive.
Gwinnett County Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Carol Terry, performed an autopsy Tuesday and declared that he had died from a pituitary tumor at the base of his brain, according to Gwinnett Chief Forensic Investigator Ted Bailey.
"Him being a football player had absolutely nothing to do with this," Bailey said.
Davis, who hadn't spoken with the team Monday, found out about Bracken-Howley after practice, but said he suspected the most of the team knew about it that day.
While not a starter, Davis said Bracken-Howley had put in the effort each season.
"Just a good kid, a hard, hard working kid – very unselfish," he said. "He didn’t worry about personal accolades – just a hard, hard-working, good kid."
He wasn’t just a hard worker on the football field, either.
"He was a strong student academically and participated in athletics here at the CHEE," said Barrow Schools Superintendent Wanda Creel. "Jordan was on track to graduate this year and was challenging himself with several advanced placement and honors level classes.
"This is a tough time for the CHEE nation but as Jordan would work hard to overcome the obstacles in front of him, we will model that spirit and do the same. Jordan will be missed by students, faculty, staff and the community."