• Community honors Fleming Island High football player who died days after collapsing

    By: Amber Krycka , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    Students, parents and fans, even the opposing team, stood together on the field after Fleming Island High School’s JV football game Thursday night to remember a player who died.

    “Ben Johnson, a young man, teammate, classmate, of our Fleming Island High School family, went to be with his Lord and savior,” the game announcer said over the PA system. 

    A moment of silence for Ben, their classmate and teammate who passed out in his weightlifting class and was taken to the hospital where he was in critical condition for the last two days. 

    According to Wolfson Children’s Hospital, his heart stopped, causing irreversible brain damage.

    Just before noon Thursday, the sophomore passed away. 

    But with stickers on every player’s helmet with Ben’s initials and football number, 78, Fleming Island High School is making sure he will be remembered.

    Everyone on the field chanted “Ben Johnson” as they formed his number 78. 

    The school is encouraging everyone to wear blue – Ben’s favorite color -- to Friday night’s varsity football game against Ridgeview High School.

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