NEW INFORMATION: Heart condition may have caused player's death

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WINONA, Minn. (WEAU) -- The high school coach of a football player at an area university said he likely from an undetected heart condition.

22-year-old Shawn Afryl of Skokie, Illinois, died after working out with teammates at Winona State University's Maxwell Field.

Winona State University head football coach Tom Sawyer said Shawn Afryl was a great person who was loved by his teammates.

“Even though it was a very short time that he was here with us, he made a big impact on us, and we're going to miss him,” said Sawyer.

Shawn collapsed and died after working out with his teammates at Winona State's Maxwell Field Monday night.

Sawyer said the workout was voluntary.

“It's tough on our players. You know and you're talking about a 22-year-old guy, one of their new teammates and a friend,” said Sawyer.

His high school coach Curtis Tate said Shawn was a guy who was humble and selfless.

“Shawn would literally give his shirt off his back any moment in time. He lived each day. He wanted to celebrate each day,” said Tate.

Tate said Shawn likely died of cardiac arrest, because of an enlarged heart.

However, Tate said Shawn's family won't know everything for another month or two.

Shawn was 6 foot 3 and weighed 310 pounds.

Shawn was a transfer student from the University of Illinois, and was going to play on the offensive line.

He was planning on becoming a social studies teacher and coach.

“I enjoyed talking with him during the last few weeks on going into education, and talking to him about starting new in football and get another opportunity to get out on the field and play,” said Sawyer.

Counseling is available on Winona State's campus.

Sawyer said funeral arrangements are pending.

Tate said Shawn's family is trying to raise money to cover funeral costs and to bring his body home.

He said any extra money raise will go towards the Shawn Patrick Shoe Fund to help athletes who can't afford athletic gear.


WINONA, Minn. (AP) -- A coach says a Winona State University football player who collapsed and died during a workout likely died of a previously undetected heart condition.

Twenty-two-year-old Shawn Afryl died Monday night during a voluntary conditioning workout at the university's Maxwell Field.

His high school football coach, Curtis Tate, says the family was told Afryl died of cardiac arrest because of an enlarged heart. No official cause of death has been released.

The Winona Daily News says Afryl is being remembered as a mature, respected team leader despite having just joined the football program this summer. WSU assistant coach Cameron Keller says Afryl had a big impact in his short time at WSU.

Afryl is from Skokie, Illinois and planned to earn a second degree at WSU to become a special education teacher.