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Fargo Shanley football player who died may have had heart problem

Nick Bailey

A preliminary autopsy shows Fargo Shanley High School sophomore football player Nick Bailey's death earlier this week was not caused by bodily injury, according to a statement released by the Bailey family on Wednesday.

The North Dakota Coroner's Office found evidence of an enlarged heart, but further testing will be conducted to determine the cause of death, according to the statement.

"This whole thing has been tough," Shanley activities director Randy Nelson said Wednesday. "(Students) will get through Friday's funeral and play on Friday. It will be a tough situation. But, with the support of Nick's family and the support of the coaches and the entire network, we will get through this."

Bailey, the son of Paul and Kara Bailey, was found dead in his room at home early Tuesday, just hours after playing in a junior varsity home game against Grand Forks Central.

Bailey's mother told police he had talked about a "big hit" he made on the other team during the game, Fargo police Sgt. Mark Lykken said Tuesday. That statement led to speculation Bailey may have died from injuries suffered during the game.

Shanley's home football game on Friday will be played just hours after Bailey's funeral.

The funeral Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church at 710 10th St. S. in Fargo. Visitation is from 9 to 11 a.m.

Visitation is also scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. today at St. Anthony's. A prayer service will follow at 7 p.m.

The football game against Wahpeton is slated for 7 p.m. Friday at Sid Cichy Stadium.

Nelson said Bailey's classmates and teammates will have the opportunity to attend the funeral.

"We're dealing with 16-, 17- and 18-year-old kids," Nelson said. "The whole situation is a tough situation. Everybody deals with it in a different way. Coach (Steve) Laqua and his staff are doing the best they can to help the students deal with it."