Michael Lively stood on Smith’s grandparents’ front porch and fought back emotions as he remembered his nephew, a 16-year-old sophomore football player at Edmond North High School who died late Wednesday night.
“He was just a happy, good-hearted kid,” Lively said.
Smith broke his leg at football practice on Tuesday and was taken by ambulance to OU Medical Center Edmond.
He was released that night, but Wednesday, Smith was “very lethargic,” Edmond Public Schools spokeswoman Susan Parks said. She said Smith’s grandparents were unable to wake him up.
Smith was rushed to Integris Baptist Medical Center’s emergency room, where he arrived in “full arrest” and died at 10:33 p.m., nine minutes after he arrived, a hospital spokesperson said.
“It’s truly tragic,” Edmond Public Schools athletic director Mike Nunley said. “There is great sadness in Edmond today. Prayers go out to Ryan’s family, friends and teammates.”
Smith’s body is with the state medical examiner, who will determine cause of death.
“We do know he was cleared physically to play football (before the season), and there wasn’t a concussion or anything when the leg was broken,” Parks said.
The Edmond North football team was told about Smith’s death Thursday morning. The district had grief counselors available to visit with Smith’s classmates, teammates, teachers and coaches.
There were also counselors visiting students at Edmond Santa Fe High School, which Smith attended his freshman year.
Smith was raised by his grandparents in Carney. The family moved to Edmond a year ago, and Smith attended Edmond Santa Fe as a freshman. He transferred to Edmond North before this school year.
The Edmond North football booster club set up a fund to help the family with burial costs at the Citizens Bank branch on Coffee Creek Road.
“That really is their most immediate need,” Parks said. “We’ve had a tremendous outpouring of support.”
The district will hold a moment of silence for Smith before Thursday night’s U.S. Grant-Edmond Santa Fe football game at Wantland Stadium.
There will also be a moment of silence before Edmond North’s game against Westmoore on Friday at Moore Stadium.
“He was a young boy that was just trying to enjoy life,” Lively said.
How to help
The Edmond North football booster club set up a fund at the Citizens Bank branch on Coffee Creek Road to help Ryan Smith's family with burial costs. Donations to the fund can be sent to:
Ryan Smith Memorial Fund
Attn: Coffee Creek Branch
P.O. Box 30
Edmond, OK 73083