Former Poland football standout dead - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Former Poland football standout dead

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FARRELL, Pennsylvania - A star athlete has been found dead after an apparent suicide.

Former Poland Seminary football standout Darius Patton was found Thursday morning by a family member.

"Shocked" and "saddened," those are the words that Patton's former high school coach, Mark Brungard, used when he first heard the news.

The two-time all-state selection from Poland was pronounced dead at about 8:00 a.m. on Thursday morning.

He was discovered at his mother's home in Farrell.

Sources close to 21 News say Patton took his own life on Wednesday night.

There's speculation that his death could be linked to a recent break-up with his girlfriend.

Coach Brungard said, "The Poland family; our school and football team are grieving today. He was a wonderful young man. We're left asking why, not having any answers."

Patton went on to play for the University of Pittsburgh with a full scholarship, only to leave the school and team after one year for personal reasons.

Howland Football Coach Dick Angle shares his sympathy. He remembers coaching Patton as a senior in the 2010 Spring All-Star Game.

"He was a young man that was very gifted. He seemed a little unsettled all the time. But he had a million dollar smile and certainly smiled with his athletic ability. He could make you smile watching him play," Angle said.

Patton's father is former Youngstown State University running back Shawn Patton.

Shawn Patton recently served time for his involvement in an interstate drug trade.

As for his son, those who knew him are left wondering why a man with so much talent left the field and his loved ones all too soon.

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