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School ‘in shock’ after athlete’s sudden death

The football coach of Leland High School in San Jose said that he met Tuesday with family members of 16-year-old former varsity player Tristan Nguyen who died suddenly after collapsing on campus Monday.

Jake Shaughnessy, who chose Tristan to join Leland’s varsity gridiron team after the teen played for two years on the junior varsity squad, said he expressed his condolences in a visit with Tristan’s mother and grandmother today.

Shaughnessy said:

“Pretty much everyone is still in shock.”

Tristen, a member of Leland’s track and field team, was jogging on school’s track during practice after classes Monday when he dropped to the ground, according to San Jose Unified School District spokesman Jorge Quintana. A coach came to his aid and performed CPR as the school staff phoned 911, he said.

Paramedics who arrived continued to give him CPR and transferred him to a hospital where he died later that afternoon, Quintana said.

After his death, some Leland students used Twitter to urge other students to wear black to school today as a sign of mourning for Tristan and some students did so, he said. The school district today provided counselors at Leland to assist teachers and students in need of support to deal with Tristan’s passing, he said.

Also Tuesday, Leland Principal Dr. Deepa Mukherjee, who went to the hospital to be with Tristan’s family after he was taken there, held meetings with staff about his death and then visited each of Tristan’s classes to deliver the news personally to his classmates, he said.

The school so far has not planned a memorial for Tristan to give his family time to mourn privately, he said. Shaughnessy said Tristan was a quiet but a solid member of the varsity team’s defensive line that stood strong together during the season last fall.

Shaughnessy said:

“He was an honor student and extremely well liked. … He was a really terrific person.”

Tristan’s father had been out of town on a business trip when his son died and was to arrive back in San Jose by today, he said. Tristan’s extended family is from the Los Angeles area and were also in the process of traveling to San Jose for the boy’s memorial, he said.

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