A high school sophomore sadly passed away only two weeks after suffering a serious brain injury during a football game.
Xavier McClain from New Jersey was playing for Linden High School on September 9 when he sustained a traumatic injury.
The game was stopped in the second half and Xavier was rushed to a hospital, where he was on life support for almost two weeks before succumbing to his injuries.
Linden High School won the game against Woodbridge 31 to 0, thanks to Xavier’s contributions, people who watched the match said.
According to reports, he sustained the injury while returning a kick-off, which is when the players are lined up before the kicker boots the ball.
Players then sprint at each other instead of lining up only feet apart, allowing the potential for traumatic head and neck injuries.
Mark Murphy, a member of the league’s competition committee, described the kick-off move as ‘by far the most dangerous play in the game.’
Tributes have poured in for Xavier, who was praised for his athleticism.
Mayor of Linden Derek Armstead wrote: “Thank you to all my Linden Pray Warriors. Together we prayed for a miracle and hoped for a different outcome.
“I trust that God knows better. HE needed an angel and decided to call Xavier home to be with HIM. With your prayers, Xavier fought a good fight.”
“In the end, he succumbed to the injuries that he sustained a couple weeks ago while playing football during the LHS Tigers’ game vs Woodbridge,” the mayor continued.
“This news hurts because I have known his parents, Lisa and Norm for years, Xavier and Andres, their two sons, since they were little boys. My wife and I spend time in their home and our children played together.”
A grieving family member wrote: “I pray God comforts you and give you peace, know that Xav is smiling down on you, and know that you will see him again in the mourning.”
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