Lemon Bay athlete dies – Surgical complications unexpectedly claim 17-year-old

By ROB SHORE
SPORTS WRITER

Lemon Bay High School junior Jerone Campbell died Friday of complications from a tonsillectomy.

He was 17.

According to Jerone’s brother, Randy Wilson, the teenager could not be woken or revived after the surgery Friday morning at Charlotte Regional Medical Center in Punta Gorda.

Jerone’s death sent a shudder through the Englewood school’s athletic community. He played varsity football and competed on the school’s junior varsity wrestling team. In fact, he was scheduled to wrestle in the junior varsity portion of the Captain Archer Memorial Classic at Charlotte High School later Friday in Punta Gorda.

“At the very least, it’s very shocking to our program,” assistant football coach Sean Huber said.

The school’s coaches found out about Jerone’s death just after noon. The football team was informed in a meeting during seventh period at the school.

“I just told the team one of our family members passed on,” said D.J. Ogilvie, head football coach at LBHS. “I just talked about how some things in life are more important than football.”

Ogilvie described Jerone as “an awesome kid, one of the most humble and quiet kids I’ve ever been around.

“Every person who ever came in contact in our high school who ever hung out with Jerone, they were a much better person for having known him. He was really becoming a great young man and he was on the path of doing great things.

“Our older kids who knew Jerone real well were beside themselves, torn up,” Ogilvie said. “It says a lot about what people thought of Jerone as a person.”

A general announcement wasn’t made to the Lemon Bay student body Friday.    “In today’s multimedia age, by the time (the team) left the gym, everybody on campus knew,” Huber said.

Grief counselors were on campus by the end of the school day, and school officials said they would be on campus Monday as well.

Lemon Bay athletic events went ahead as planned Friday. The junior varsity wrestling team competed at the Archer classic Friday. As the tournament started in the early afternoon, the Mantas’ wrestlers were not aware their teammate had died.

“There will be a lot of students and teachers who will be stunned by this,” said Mike Riley, Charlotte County Public Schools spokesman.

The Mantas were scheduled to play Cypress Lake in boys basketball on Friday, and a moment of silence for Jerone was planned.

“Healing’s usually a lot better when you can return things to normal as fast as possible,” said Huber, who also is the Lemon Bay boys basketball coach. “It’s just a game. Obviously, if somebody didn’t want to play, I wouldn’t have them play.”

Jerone is survived by his mother, Janet Minott; one brother, Randy Wilson; and a sister, Yanique Wilson. His father, Upert Campbell, preceded him in death earlier this year.

“The loss of a child is probably the worst thing a parent has to go through,” said Charlotte school superintendent Doug Whittaker. “My heart goes out to them.”    Jerone recently had completed his third season as a member of the Lemon Bay football program. He previously played two years of Pop Warner football in Englewood.

Funeral arrangements were pending Friday evening. They are being handled by Lemon Bay Funeral Home in Englewood.

Staff Writer Tom Chang contributed to this report.

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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