BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — The Bluefield High School community was mourning the death of Tony Webster, the junior running back and linebacker who died Friday at a hospital in Roanoke, Va.
Webster, 17, collapsed during a workout at his high school Monday and had been on life support while organ donation efforts took place.
“Tony was a student that everybody in our school loved and respected,” said Bluefield High School principal Michael Collins.
Webster was a member of Bluefield’s 2017 Class AA state championship football team. His father Tony is a longtime assistant coach for both the Bluefield football and basketball squads dating back to 1997.
The kid known as “Lil Tony” had been a fixture around the Bluefield program for most of his life, starting as a ball boy.
Webster scored four touchdowns during the 2018 season in which the Beavers advanced to the state championship game for the second consecutive year.
Webster also was an accomplished weightlifter, setting a national record at the United States Powerlifting Association Tennessee State Championships in May 2018.
A memorial ceremony was arranged for Friday night at 6 p.m. Mitchell Stadium. Bluefield’s arch rival from Graham, Va. will honor Webster before their boys basketball game Saturday.
“It is overwhelming the schools from southern West Virginia that have reached out to us,” Collins said. “At Princeton High School they all wore maroon today in his honor. PikeView High School and James Monroe High School were here today, delivering flowers and cards. They had students come and talk to our students.
“Tony’s father has heard from high schools and coaches and from people all over West Virginia that he has coached against through the years and I know that has meant a lot to him.”