Gwinnett teen dies after club soccer practice

A 16-year-old died Saturday after collapsing during soccer practice with Atlanta Fire United, a coach said.

Michael Jones was a rising junior at Parkview High School who’d recently joined Atlanta Fire United, Parkview boys soccer coach Dan Klinect told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Shortly before Jones collapsed, he was acting strange, Klinect said. 

“His club coach said he what a weird expression on his face,” Klinect said. 

Atlanta Fire United coach Mirza Mustafic performed CPR until the ambulance arrived, Klinect said.

Officials said Jones suffered cardiac arrest.

“The whole thing is so shocking because you wouldn’t think someone with his athleticism would pass away from cardiac arrest,” Klinect said. “That’s what I’m trying to grasp and understand.”

Klinect said he’d known Jones for years and coached him when he was at the Gwinnett Soccer Association as well as when he played for Parkview. 

“He was tremendous as a student, player and as a person.” Klinect said. “He works harder than anybody out there.”

Jones was the kind of player who wouldn’t sulk when things didn’t go his way, but would instead ask what he could do to improve and get better.

“He was the kind of kid you’d want on your team,” Klinect said. 

A Gwinnett County Schools official said grief counselors will be available for students returning to school.

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