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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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August 19th, 2013
06:00 PM ET

High school football player dies on the field, coach says hits are 'like a car wreck'

A suburban Atlanta high school football player died from injuries suffered while making a tackle during a scrimmage game, according to medical examiners.

DeAntre Turman's death came Friday after he made a tackle during a pre-season game, said Mike Alsip, a forensic investigator for the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office. The teenager broke his neck, Alsip said.

"It is a dangerous sport," said Glenn Ford one of Turman's coaches. "It's like a car wreck every time when you hit someone, it's a full-speed collision."

"But we go into the game knowing there's danger in this game, and it's just something that we just deal with because we love it so much," said Ford.

Ford told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" that Turman died after a "clean tackle."

"DeAntre broke on the play, helmet was up, hit the ball, the ball was dislodged and went up into the air, and his body immediately went limp. So it was a clean, fundamental tackle that he made. His body just immediately went limp," said Ford.

Ford said as a coach, he is always worried about his players, but football is a physical game.

"You do everything you can as a coach to prevent injuries, but in this sport it's going to happen," said Ford.

A group called "Practice like Pros" advocates limiting contact in practices, and no full body tackles in practices.

"We should educate these high school coaches that, you know, they should limit some of the practices, and not going everyday full speed, full contact, because most of the injuries, most of the concussions are in practice," said Ford.

Ford and Turman's teammates now face a psychological challenge, not just a physical one, as they go forward without the boy they called "Tre Tre."

"Everyone that knows Tre Tre would want them to move forward and keep going," said Ford. "He died for the game that he truly loved."

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