Hundreds gather to pay tribute to high school soccer player

By John Krinjak

Email: jkrinjak@abc6.com

Twitter: @johnkrinjakABC6

RICHMOND, R.I. (WLNE) — Looking out at the hundreds of candles illuminating the Chariho High School soccer field–the same field Maddie Potts played on so many times–it was clear the impact she had on those around her in her 17 short years.

Potts, who was captain of the girls soccer team, died of a brain aneurysm after collapsing while taking a penalty kick in a game Saturday night.

"She has always been a leader, she has always been the heart of the team, and she has been the best captain anyone could ask for," said girls soccer coach Brittany Godbout.

It’s estimated that nearly 1,000 people–classmates, fellow athletes, family and friends–turned out on this field to pay their respects to Maddie.

"Never stop trying to become a legend up there.  Because here you already are and forever will be," said Godbout. 

After tributes from coaches, teammates, and school officials, Maddie’s mom spoke, urging her daughter’s fellow athletes to never be afraid to play the sport they love.

The scoreboard lit up with Maddie’s jersey number, 11, as the crowd cheered her on one more time. 

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017