Football season kicked off at Winona State University
but it's with a bit of a heavy heart for athletes
22-year-old Shawn Afryl collapsed and died on the
field about 20 minutes into a voluntary workout.
Medical staff and coaches
tried C-P-R but were unsuccessful.
The Warriors are looking to use Shawn's memory as
motivation this season.
News 8's Kyle Dimke was at practice today.
and has the story..
Maxwell Field will never be the same.
Nor will any of the players on the Winona State Football
Theo: 1- That was-- for the guys that experienced
it was just such a huge tragedy on our team, but at
the end of the day it kind of brought us closer together
Even though Shawn isn't physically on the field for
the first practice of the season.
he will always be on the field with his teammates.
Ryan: 1- he's going to play a huge role in this season
even though he's left us he's going to be a huge part
of this season for the Winona State Warriors
Theo: 2- It's going to be a motivation that I feel
like no other team has
Head Coach Tom Sawyer says the season begins with
a bit of an empty feeling.
He says Thursday's practice is a time for the team
to reflect and talk about Shawn.
It's also a time to begin paying tribute to his memory.
Coach: 1- just like Shawn would want us to be, we
want to get out and get going.
We'll think about it, we'll make omage to it, but
the most important part is to know what he would really
want and that's he'd want these guys out doing everything
they can to be the best football player they can be
AD: 1- the loss of a loved one or teammate, which
is a loved one, everyone is going to handle that and
process that a little bit different, but it's difficult.
Athletic Director Eric Schoh says today brings mixed
Some crisp passes.
Lots of heavy hearts.
Ryan: 1- He is always going to be in our hearts, he
is always going to be one of our guys, once a Warrior,
always a Warrior.
Reporting in Winona Kyle Dimke News 8
Shawn's family is starting a foundation in his honor.
giving athletic shoes to under-privileged high school
Winona State University will be honoring Shawn's family
at their first home game of the season.
There will also be a moment of silence held at the
team's season opener at Northern State in South Dakota.