Homecoming Queen Candidate Dies After Collapsing on Football Field

The 17-year-old daughter of an Ohio high school athletic director collapsed on the football field and died during pregame festivities — where she was introduced as a Homecoming Queen candidate.

Breanne McKean, a senior at Mapleton High School in Ashland, died Friday of an undisclosed “medical emergency,” Mapleton Local Schools announced Saturday.

The school’s athletic director, Tim McKean, told News 5 Cleveland that his daughter died at Ashland Hospital after collapsing on the field, where the Mounties were set to play South Central.

Breanne touched many lives and “was everything to us,” her grieving dad told the outlet, adding that she lettered in several sports, including volleyball, basketball and softball.

Mapleton head coach Matt Stafford and South Central head coach Derek Fisher decided to suspend the game after they heard at halftime that Breanne had died, the Ashland Source reported.

Student at Mapleton High School
Breanne McKean was the daughter of school athletic director Tim McKean.

Her body was transported to Lucas County to undergo an autopsy, Ashland County Coroner’s Office investigator Jenny Taylor told the news outlet.

“Mapleton staff and grief counselors were available immediately after this announcement to provide comfort and support,” the Mapleton school district said on its Facebook page.

“A special thank you goes out to the South Central community, administration, coaches, players and fans for their compassion and support last night. We would also like to thank our Mapleton community and surrounding school districts and communities for their continued support, encouragement and prayers during this difficult time,” it said.

Mapleton's 2023 Homecoming Court
Mapleton’s 2023 Homecoming Court. Breanne is seated in the middle of the front row.

Officials said grief counselors would be made available for students and staff on Monday.

The homecoming dance scheduled for the day after the tragedy was canceled. All Mapleton athletic events also were canceled through Wednesday.

Breanne was a member of the girls’ volleyball team, which also posted a message that a youth volleyball camp planned for Sunday would be canceled, along with the team’s games this week.

“Please pray for the McKean family, our volleyball family and the Mapleton community,” the team wrote on Facebook.

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