Tragedy on the field

 Posted on: September 26 2016

We talk a lot in this space about the good that youth sports offers our kids, from exercise to discipline to life lessons. But students in northern Ohio were handed one life lesson this past weekend that we wish they didn’t have to learn at such a young age.

Andre Jackson, a Euclid (Ohio) High School football player, died Sunday, following injuries he suffered during a Friday night football game. A junior fullback and outside linebacker, Jackson died after he was hurt during the school's game against Solon High School on a special teams play.

Euclid High School head football coach Jeff Rotsky said the incident happened during a "completely normal" play. "It was a pooch kick," he said. "He was going for the ball, and their guys were going for the ball, and I think he got kicked or kneed."

The school district said Jackson walked off the field after the play, went to the hospital, was examined and was later released. No cause of death has been determined as of now.

Euclid High School issued an official statement on Sunday about Jackson's death: 

“Today, Euclid High School junior Andre L. Jackson passed away after an injury sustained during Friday night's football game. Andre was a hardworking student-athlete that brought smiles to all those with whom he came in contact.  The Euclid City School District would like to extend its deepest sympathy to the Jackson family during this horrific time. “

According to USA TODAY, Jackson is the third football player nationally to die since the 2016 season began. Chase Lightfoot, 17, from Shadow Creek in Manvel, Texas, in September of a rare heart condition, according to the autopsy. The medical examiner in Bexar County said Lightfoot was born with abnormal cardiac arteries.

And this summer, Lewis Simpkins, a 14-year-old sophomore from River Bluff High (Lexington, S.C.), died Aug. 10 after collapsing at practice. The county corner there said autopsy results were inconclusive.

Couple that with the shocking death of Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez over the weekend in a Florida boating accident, and it’s been a sad few days in sports. Investigations into both of these incidents will go on for weeks but as they do, we’re reminded that every once in a while, real life seeps into sports.


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