18-year-old South Carolina high school football player dies during ACL surgery
A routine ACL surgery has claimed the life of an 18-year-old football player from South Carolina who had a promising future in college football.
Spartanburg High School athlete Nick Dixon succumbed to complications during surgery to repair his ACL and Meniscus.
Dixon was a promising football player who had just accepted his scholarship at Wingate University the day before his death.
Dixon played as a linebacker, running back, and defensive line for the Vikings and just recently took part in the “Shrine Bowl” which sees outstanding high school football players in the Carolinas competing with one another.
Dixon died at Spartanburg Medical Center at around 3 pm on Friday. His unexpected death has left his family devastated.
Come out & show support! pic.twitter.com/rmhBPO2IFs— Spartanburg Vikings Athletics (@SHSVikingSports) January 12, 2019
SCHOOL OFFICIALS REMEMBER DIXON
School officials have also expressed their sadness with Dixon scheduled to graduate in May. Spartanburg School District Superintendent Russell Booker had this to say:
“Nick was a wonderful student, wonderful athlete. Nick was part of our Viking early college program early during his high school career, which means he was already earning some college credits.”
“I'm broken-hearted that I'm not going to shake his hand in May and give him that diploma. As we have two thousand students coming to school on Monday they're going to be heartbroken.”
My heart absolutely breaks for @SHSVikingsfb as they deal with the terrible tragedy of losing a student athlete. Wonderful tribute to that young man here from my friend @JedBlackwell https://t.co/XC0y7Rz3er— News & Reporter (@CNR_Sports) January 12, 2019
A PERSON WITH A BIG HEART
Dixon was described by a family friend as a person with “a very bright personality” and a “really, really big heart.”
His social media presence would often see him encouraging others with words of wisdom. In November he wrote, “God always has a plan.” His last post before his death was ironically in the lines of “not done yet.”
What a turnout of support, love, and remembrance of Nick Dixon. We are FAMILY. pic.twitter.com/Hi1Xgp8A3Z— SpartanburgVikingsFootball (@SHSVikingsfb) January 14, 2019
PAYING TRIBUTE TO A GREAT STUDENT AND ATHLETE
Dixon’s school principal, Jeff Stevens also had only good things to say about him.
“He was a great student. He was an awesome athlete and very much a competitor. But more than that, he could walk into any room that you were in and have a conversation with everybody… He would light up a room.”
I can’t begin to tell you how heartbroken we are at the loss of one of our beloved students, Mr. Nick Dixon. He died unexpectedly this afternoon during surgery. Nick was most recently honored to play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. What an awesome young man gone too soon! pic.twitter.com/t24udLeZvb— Spartanburg High School (@SHSvikings) January 11, 2019
His teammates who remember him as a friendly competitor will always hang on to the memory of him beginning each training day with the line “Who’s going on their butt first?”
“We argued, but it was out of brotherly love,” childhood friend and teammate Tyshun Moultrie said.
With the help of a GoFundMe page, $17,000 was raised in three days for Dixon’s funeral and burial expenses. Dixon will also be honored by Wingate on National Signing Day.
Nick Dixon you will be missed. pic.twitter.com/6R3t1JHrco— SpartanburgVikingsFootball (@SHSVikingsfb) January 11, 2019
ANOTHER DEATH IN THE SCHOOL
Meanwhile, just days after Dixon's death, Spartanburg suffered another loss. Its athletic trainer and coach Bryant Rose also died from surgery.
Rose suddenly died while at the hospital following an operation. No foul play was reported. His school mourns his death while still mourning Dixon's.