Ga. high school football player found dead day before state championship game, district confirms

MERIWETHER COUNTY, Ga. — The Meriwether County School System has confirmed the death of a missing 17-year-old, a day before the school plays in its state championship game.

In a letter penned to families, the district said they were “heartbroken to hear the news of the tragic and untimely death of one of our student-athletes, Brandon Smith.”

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Smith, a member of the Manchester High School Blue Devils football team, was supposed to be with his teammates Monday night, playing for the Georgia 1-A State Football Championship.

Channel 2 Action News reached out to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who confirmed the Manchester Police Department asked them to conduct crime scene processing only.


“The circumstances behind this tragedy are still being investigated and will be shared publicly by local authorities,” district officials said via a letter shared on Facebook.

“We continue to pray for Brandon’s family, friends, teammates, and classmates. Manchester High School will have mental health support available starting on Monday morning,” the district said.

District leaders said Smith will be remembered as “a loyal teammate and friend who excelled on and off the field. He will be deeply missed.”

Officials have not released a cause of death and there is no word on whether the Championship game will be cancelled.

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