Chase Lightfoot’s death rocked the City of Houston and the Texas high school football community to its core.
In early-September, the 17-year-old lineman from Alvin Shadow Creek high school jogged off the field late in a game against San Antonio St. Mary’s Hall. He collapsed. Athletic trainers and medical personnel frantically attended to him, before he was transported to a local hospital, where some six-hours later he died.
The Bexar County Medical Examiner later determined the cause of death was a cardiovascular problem. Lightfoot had passed the required physical examinations before the season, but a more thorough exam with an electrocardiogram might have discovered his heart issue.
“Whenever you heard Chase’s name,’ said one of Lightfoot’s friends, Avery Hunter. “It was always good when people talked about him.”
When Texas football legend Earl Campbell heard Lightfoot’s story, the player known as The Tyler Rose since his high school days decided to pick up the phone. He contacted John Lopez of CBS Houston’s Sports Radio 610 and asked if he could sit in-studio with the In The Loop show featuring Lopez, Cody Stoots and Dante Hall.
What ensued was an inspiring, compelling and entertaining hour-long discussion among the four — with a surprise visit from Campbell’s former Houston Oilers quarterback, Dan Pastorini.
Amidst the interview, the In The Loop show solicited bids for an on-air auction of an autographed Earl Campbell Houston Oilers jersey. As Campbell paid tribute to Lightfoot and encouraged listeners to donate money for the Lightfoot family, he upped the stakes by also offering a day of football-watching with Campbell in his personal, “Man Cave” in Austin.
The on-air auction ultimately raised $7,000 for the Lightfoot family. Lightfoot’s parents later came on-air and said they would use the money to help encourage parents of school-age children to pursue Electrocardiograms for their kids, in addition to required school physicals.