A high school football player who started summer practices with Peoria Centennial has unexpectedly died in his sleep.
Cesar Vazquez started his high school career in Peoria and his coaches said he could have a future in football.
At 6’3″ 270lbs, Vazquez had a dream to play in college and potentially the NFL.
Vazquez’s mother, Brenda Gil, says for as big of a presence he had on the football field, Cesar had an even bigger heart.
“He was really charismatic and everybody loved him!” Gil said.
“He was very happy all the time. He would always cooperate with whatever you did. And he listened to everything.”
Centennial High School football "shocked" by death of lineman Cesar Vazquez, 18 years old…
His mom went in to wake him up and he was gone…
Peoria Centennial football coach Richard Taylor said that senior offensive lineman Cesar Vazquez died…
– Arizona Republic
— Dr. James E. Olsson (@DrJamesOlsson) August 4, 2022
Cesar Vazquez's death has left his family with plenty of questions. MORE: https://t.co/iKohQZoEVA pic.twitter.com/w7tDZweweS
— azfamily 3TV CBS 5 (@azfamily) August 7, 2022
Arizona’s Family reported:
Including the feedback from coaches that Vazquez could have a future in football. “That was his dream,” Gil said. “To play in college.”
And after that? Maybe the NFL. But earlier this week, when Vazquez went to bed, he never woke up. “We started moving him, and shaking him. We saw he was purple so we called the ambulance,” Gil said. “And when they came they said he was dead, and that they couldn’t do anything else.”
Vazquez had no history of any serious health issues. He didn’t do drugs. As a result, his death has left his family with plenty of questions. “We just have no clue what happened.” Gil said.
But while the Vazquez family waits for answers, they’ve been comforted by the response from both Vazquez’s second family at Peoria Centennial and strangers who didn’t even know him. “Seeing all the love that so many people had for him, it’s just made me feel even more proud,” Gil said.
The pain is still fresh for Gil and the rest of the family. What’s next? They’re not sure. But Gil knows speaking about Vazquez’s death, no matter how difficult it may be, is necessary. “I told him, I’m going to do this for you,” Gil said. “You’re going to give me the strength to do this interview because I knew he wanted to be famous. That’s what he said. I’m going to be famous. So this is for him.”
A GoFundMe has been created to help the Vazquez family with the funeral and other expenses.
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