parents mourn the loss of their son who died suddenly after football practice at Brandon High School


JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – The Brandon High School community is in shock after the sudden loss of one of its football players.

Few details have been released about what led to Phillip Laster Jr.’s death, but his family said he spent some of his last moments on the football field doing what he loved.

The sign on Laster’s parents’ front door reads ‘Faith Lives Here,’ and it’s ultimately what will carry Phillip Sr., Ashanta and their three other children through these next few weeks as they grieve the loss of their son, Phillip Jr. .

“I’m speechless that I won’t hear his footsteps coming through the door, or ‘Mom, what are you cooking?’ in his deep voice,” Ashanta said. “He was a lovely kid. I love my son.'”

The Brandon High School football player was just weeks away from starting his senior year and he was determined to help his team win the state title.

“Phillip has been playing ball with some of these players since he was about five years old,” said Phillip Sr. “It was a really exciting thing for him this year.”

Laster’s father said he was on the road when his son collapsed during football practice on Monday, and by the time he got to the hospital it was too late.

“I called the coach and he told me it would probably be better for me to come in if I could because it was a serious situation,” he said. “On my way, I got the call that they lost it.”

As the Lasters remember their son’s life, they remember him as a “gentle giant” loved by many.

“It’s just hard to find anyone who has anything bad to say about this guy,” Phillip Sr. said. “The outpouring of love is just a testament to what his life. He was a good boy.”

Coroner David Ruth of Rankin Co. said Monday he was taking Laster’s body to the state medical examiner’s office to perform an autopsy.

We will continue to follow this story and let you know what led to his death as soon as information becomes available.

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