Vigil honors FW teen who died during football practice

Allen Harris was well loved by his community and will be missed greatly, said many of his family and friends.

A vigil for Allen was held July 26 at Federal Way High School Memorial Stadium with a crowd of well over 100 people gathering to say goodbye to the teen.

Allen died July 24 during a summer conditioning workout with the FWHS football team. He died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the muscles of his heart enlarged, making it hard to pump blood to the body.

Like many others who live with this condition, Allen was undiagnosed; it is common to see no symptoms.

During the vigil, many of his teammates, friends, teachers and family spoke about the kind of person he was and how he touched their lives.

It was a tear-filled goodbye for the teen who left too soon.

One of his teammates said, “He had a million-dollar smile that would light up the room.”

Superintendent Tammy Campbell also attended the vigil. She said that although she did not have a chance to meet Allen during his time here, after everyone spoke, she felt like she knew him now.

Campbell also said while Allen was only on Earth for a short time, he seemed to have touched everyone he met in a bright, positive way.

“It’s about the amount of life you put in your years,” Campbell said.

One of the coaches for the football team, Elijah Miller, was deeply affected by Allen’s passing and gave his deepest condolences to his family.

“One kid went to football practice and did not come home,” he said.

According to school district spokesperson Whitney Chiang, grief counselors are available to students in this time of mourning.

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