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A Manchester High School sophomore football player, Brandon Smith, 17, has been found dead the day before the Manchester High Blue Devils play in the Class A Division II state championship game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Smith had been reported missing on Saturday, according to news reports and social media posts. Sunday, Smith was found deceased and an investigation into his death began. Authorities have not released a cause of death.
Manchester High School administration released a statement regarding Smith’s passing on the school’s web site. The statement is as follows:
“Meriwether County Families: We are heartbroken to hear the news of the tragic and untimely death of one of our student-athletes, Brandon Smith. Manchester High School's celebration of playing for the Georgia 1-A State Football Championship has unfortunately turned into something none of us could have fathomed. The circumstances behind this tragedy are still being investigated and will be shared publicly by local authorities. We continue to pray for Brandon's family, friends, teammates, and classmates. Manchester High School will have mental health support available starting on Monday morning. Brandon was a loyal teammate and friend who excelled on and off the field. He will be deeply missed.”
Smith was a sophomore defensive lineman who, according to MaxPreps, had played in one game this season and totaled three tackles.
Manchester is scheduled to face the defending state champion Bowdon Red Devils of Carroll County tonight at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on GPTV.
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