Public viewing set for St. Joseph's Prep football player who died during practice

WPVI logo
Monday, April 20, 2015
VIDEO: Grief counselors on hand at St. Joe's Prep
Grief counselors were on hand at St. Joseph's Prep Monday after a freshman football player collapsed and died during practice.

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Funeral arrangements have been announced for a St. Joseph's Prep freshman football player who collapsed and died during during practice over the weekend.

A public viewing for 15-year-old Ryan Gillyard will be held on Friday, April 24th at 2:00 p.m. at St. Joe's Prep Church of the Gesu.

Grief counselors were on hand at the school Monday.

It happened Saturday morning as the team was practicing at 11th Street and Cecil B. Moore in North Philadelphia.

Gillyard, a running back and linebacker, collapsed just after the team's warm-ups for a conditioning workout.

His coaches rushed to help.

The teen was transported by ambulance to nearby Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death.

As officials awaited autopsy results, Action News learned more about the student athlete.

His grief-stricken father told Action News he was at the practice and at the hospital when his son died.

He said Ryan had no pre-existing medical condition, and he's been playing football since third grade.

The teen's love of the game and his talents brought him to St. Joe's Preps' renowned athletics program.

Action News was on hand as head football Coach Gabe Infante left Saturday after spending time with players.

At the church on the school's campus, a private service was held Sunday morning to honor the teen.

The school expressed condolences to the parents and family of the Upper Darby teen, who also played CYO basketball at St. Denis in Havertown.

St. Joseph's Prep released the following statement:

The St. Joseph's Prep community is deeply saddened by the tragic death of our freshman Ryan Gillyard and our condolences go out to his parents and family. Ryan was a great person and someone we were proud to have as part of our community. We will do whatever we can to support his family and friends, especially the members of the freshman class and the football team of which he was a member, and our thoughts and prayers are with them all.

The Prep is providing grief counseling services all weekend for anyone in our community who desires support. On Monday, special programming will take place to ensure students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to interact with professional counselors.