A New Jersey high school football player has died nearly two weeks after being seriously injured during a football game earlier this month, officials said.
Xavier McClain, 16, succumbed to injuries sustained during a Sept. 9 game between his school, Linden High School and nearby Woodbridge High School, Derek Armstead, the mayor of Linden, a town just 21, said on Wednesday. km southwest of Manhattan.
“With your prayers, Xavier put up a good fight. Ultimately he succumbed to injuries he sustained a few weeks ago while playing football in the LHS Tigers game against Woodbridge,” Armstead wrote in a message on Facebook.
“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,” he said. “My wife and I spend time at their house and our children play together. Tragically, their worst fear has come true.
Linden was playing Woodbridge on his home turf when McClain took a major hit in the second half of the game, NBC New York reported. The teenager was able to get up, but collapsed again, prompting authorities to call an ambulance.
“He got up like he was a strong person and then fell back down,” classmate Asia Marshall told NBC New York. It was just painful and sad to see someone go so fast, thinking they were going home to finish. in a coma, you know.”
McClain was taken to hospital for treatment, but ultimately succumbed to a serious head injury, the outlet reported.
A Twitter account identifying itself as Linden High School’s official football page paid tribute to McClain on Thursday, with the words “Rest In Peace Xavier McClain.”
Armstead said the Linden community will do everything possible to support McClain’s family following the tragedy. Armstead and Linden High School did not immediately respond to requests for comment overnight.