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Tragedy brings a school, community together

Michael Ellsessar. (click for larger version)
November 23, 2010
OXFORD — The community continues to mourn the death of an Oxford High School football player whose passing touched the residents of several towns.

Michael Ellsessar, 16, of 30 Dudley St., Sutton, passed away Monday, Nov. 15, after suffering an injury during the first few minutes of a junior varsity football game between Oxford High School and Quaboag Regional High School.

According to a press release from Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr., a preliminary investigation revealed Ellsessar's death "appears to be a tragic accident."

Authorities are still awaiting the results of an autopsy, but the boy's father, John Ellsessar, said he and his wife were told Michael died after he was hit in the chest and his heart stopped between beats.

Michael's funeral was held Saturday, Nov. 17 at the First Congregational Church of Sutton. John Ellsessar said he was shocked to see how many people had come out to support his family and remember Michael. He thanked all of the residents who have stood by his family during its time of need.

"It has been rough," said John. "But the outpouring of sympathy and compassion we have received, not only from people from Sutton, but throughout Central Massachusetts and beyond, has been ineradicable."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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