Semi-Pro Football Player Dies on the Field

A New Bern native and semi-pro football player is dead, after authorities say he died during a football game Saturday evening.

Takirra Koonce, 28 years old, a player on the New Bern Grizzlies football team, was rushed off the field at Grover C. Fields middle school in New Bern, Saturday night. The medical examiners office is not releasing his cause of death due to privacy laws.

Family friends say Koonce leaves behind seven children. His funeral will be held Thursday morning at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist church in New Bern.