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Whiteland football player unexpectedly dies; memorial set for high school field

Whiteland football player unexpectedly dies; memorial set for high school field

Travis Robinson | News 8 at 6

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — A Greenwood family is preparing to remember their 15-year-old son who died unexpectedly over the weekend.

They want to do it in a big way Wednesday night by filling the stands at his Whiteland High School football field with friends and family.

Ryan “RyGuy” Latham was all about life. Everything was amazing to him; his parents said that might have been because somehow he knew his life would be short.

“He was always happy,” said mother Carol Latham. “And if he wasn’t happy, it was for a moment.”

“If there was something that amazed him, which was a lot of things, the little things — I don’t know how many times he’d walk by and see something and just be like, ‘Oh, my God! How does that happen!?’” said father Stephen Latham.

“Right?” Carol Latham said. “All the time!”

On Friday night, Ryan went to football practice. He didn’t play and spent a lot of the time talking with his dad.

“It’s the last solid conversation I had with him,” Stephen Latham said. “About life and what he had coming.”

Ryan went to sleep that night and never woke up.

“We aren’t sure if it was from his shoulder injury, because he had just done that, or if there was another reason,” Carol Latham said. “He said that they are sending extra tissue samples to figure out if he had something underlying or something like that.”

Ryan’s parents were told it was quick, painless and happened seamlessly during his sleep.

“I’m truly convinced that if you ever have to lose your child, the best way to lose them would be when they’re dreaming,” Carol Latham said. “Because he had such big dreams. Such big dreams!”

Ryan’s funeral has been completely paid for thanks to a GoFundMe fundraising effort. His parents said any extra money raised will go toward remembering Ryan for years to come with a scholarship.

“We’re going to make a memorial at the football field and then we’re going to set up some kind of scholarship for a lineman because Ryan was a lineman,” Carol Latham said. “We’re trying to raise as much as we possibly can to do as much as we possibly can for the football program at Whiteland High School, which is where he played and he loved and he could not wait to be on that field.”

Ryan is going to be remembered on the football field from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Whiteland High School. His parents are hoping to pack the stands, so everyone is welcome. But, his parents said anyone attending should not dress up, because Ryan hated dressing up.