Clayton High athlete collapses at practice, dies at hospital

cbest@newsobserver.comDecember 14, 2012 

— Hogan Teem was just doing what most high school baseball players do this time of year, jogging around the Clayton High School track during an organized off-season workout. But on Thursday afternoon, something went tragically wrong.

Teem, a senior, collapsed and later died at WakeMed in Raleigh, according to Clayton High School principal Clint Eaves.

Eaves said Comets head baseball coach Stacey Houser and assistant coach Kim Smith were with the players when Teem collapsed. Houser and Smith quickly summoned Clayton athletic trainer John Barnes and first responder Brian Roach.

“Between the work of Doc Barnes and Brian and the rescue squad, he was stable enough to transport,” Eaves said. Eaves said Teem passed away at the hospital.

Members of the baseball team and Clayton High community were shaken by the tragedy. Many expressed their feelings in Facebook and Twitter posts for the apparently well-liked student-athlete. His mother, Allyson Teem, is a teacher at another Johnston County school, West Johnston igh School.

Friday’s scheduled basketball games between Clayton and Garner have been postponed because of Teem’s death.

“The basketball coaches, especially (boys coach) Denny (Medlin) thought it was in the best interest of the kids to not play,” said Clayton athletic director Gary Fowler. “There were a lot of kids close to him. That just speaks to the way kids here felt about Hogan.”

Teem, according to a YouTube video, was also a member of the Yak Travel Baseball organization. He played third base, outfield and pitched, according to the video.

“Hogan was a very hard-working young man,” Eaves said. “You talk to coach Houser and all you hear is how hard working he always was, doing everything he could to overcome obstacles and give his best effort.”

Johnston County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Croom, who visited with the Teem family on Thursday night, said it was one of the saddest things he’s ever experienced.

“It’s just a complete state of shock,” Croom said. “When kids perish in a wreck there’s some level of knowing what happened. With this, it’s just a complete shock. It shows you that you just never know.”

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