17-year-old Illinois student the seventh high school football death after head injury during game

A 17-year-old has become the seventh high school football player to die this year as a result of injuries suffered while playing.

Bogan High School student Andre Smith was hurt during the Thursday night game and died Friday morning at a hospital, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Stagg Stadium announcer Jimmy Smith told the newspaper: ‘It was a kick return play. (Smith) was running and a guy blocked him, hit him pretty good and that was it.

‘He went down and he got back up and walked backed to the visitor’s side of the field.’

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Smith is the seventh US high school football player ‘to die from game-related injuries this season.’

Paramedic Garret Weston told the newspaper: ‘I was on my out then they told me someone collapsed.

‘They told me he was hit in the helmet and he had a headache.

‘He was unconscious by the time I got to him. I checked his vitals and gave him oxygen.’

Larry Langford, a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Smith ‘was unconscious but was breathing when he was taken in critical condition’ to a hospital.

Smith’s brother, Erik Smith, told WLS: ‘When I got here, he was still breathing, you know.

‘So, I guess that kind of gave me a sign of hope that everything was going to be OK with him.’

He told the television station: ‘I ain’t know what to do. It just killed everything inside of me.’

Stepfather Dwayne Smith also spoke to WLS, saying: ‘You understand the risk, but it’s a game, you know, it’s a game. The kids have played this for years.’

Family members told WLS there was swelling in Smith’s brain.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool said in a statement: ‘For all of us at Chicago Public Schools, our hearts are heavy and saddened this morning to learn that one of our student athletes at Bogan High School has passed away.

‘CPS grief counselors are on-site at Bogan to provide counseling for our students.

‘We ask that you respect the privacy of the student’s family and keep them in your thoughts and prayers.’

Source: The DailyMail

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