Aussie Rules Football Rising Star Dies Suddenly At 16

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Andrew Powell Sports and Entertainment Blogger
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The Tasmanian Aussie rules community is currently in mourning after a teenage rising star suddenly died.

Samara Whitney, who was just 16 years old, played for the Wynyard Football Club and was a member of the Tasmania Devils program. She died Tuesday.

Wynyard Football said in a statement that Whitney was “a true star who shone bright both inside and out.”

“Our young gun, our pocket rocket, our #2 … such a positive influence for all,” posted the club on Facebook. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends and to all who were blessed and touched by Mara’s beautiful soul.”

AFL Tasmania also issued a statement to express their sympathies.

“Samara was a beloved member of the Wynyard Cats and the Tasmania Devils program, having also represented the NWFL in this year’s Women’s All Stars Series,” wrote the sporting body.

Launched by Whitney’s friends, an online fundraiser has brought in $25,000 to assist her family.

“Time has since stood still for her family, friends, school community and sporting clubs as we all begin to grieve and navigate life without our special girl,” wrote organizer Sasha Burr. Gregg Sharman, the principal of Whitney, praised her for being one of the school‘s biggest stars.

“More than football, Samara was a vivacious, charismatic, engaging, friendly, and compassionate student to every person,” said Sharman via FOX Sports. “Samara had a bright future in a lot of aspects of her life.” (RELATED: ‘We Need A Miracle’: Pennsylvania High School Football Quarterback Collapses Mid-Game)

“Our college is deeply saddened and we share our prayers, sympathy and condolences with [her parents] Seton, Kym along with their daughters at this time.”