High School Football Player Dies In New Jersey: Evan Murray's Death Shines Light On Injury Stats

High School Football Player Dies In New Jersey: Evan Murray’s Death Shines Light On Injury Stats

After a high school football players dies in New Jersey, Evan Murray’s death has come under intense scrutiny. In addition, the injury stats for high schoolers may leave some parents aghast at how many children die each year playing American high school football.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, the 17-year-old quarterback for Warren Hills Regional High School in New Jersey died after he took a hard hit during a football game Friday night against Summit High School. Witnesses say the hit occurred behind the line of scrimmage late in the second quarter. Murray was capable of walking off the field under his own power, but shortly later he collapsed.

Evan Murray told teammates he felt “woozy” after the tackle, but tried reassuring everyone that he would be fine as he was lifted on a gurney and taken to a hospital.

“He tried giving a thumbs-up to the rest of the team, and all of us cheered,” said 16-year-old Kaitlin Bell, a junior varsity cheerleader. “Our coach was telling us he was going to be all right. We didn’t expect anything would happen.”

After the high school football player died, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and many others, left their condolences on Twitter. “On behalf of all the people of New Jersey, Mary Pat and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the Murray family on the loss of Evan,” tweeted Christie.

Upon learning about the quarterback’s untimely death, a friend set up a GoFundMe fundraiser page to help the family with Evan Murray’s funeral.

“As a friend of Evans, I wanted to do something for the family. I started with a goal of 15,000 but shortly realized that Evans passing was felt around the nation. 25,000 was our new goal and we made it last night around 9:30…. Our new goal is 50,000. this money is ALL going to the Murray family to pay for funeral costs, a stone, medical bills, etc… On top of Evans passing, a family member is fighting a battle with cancer and we hope to also cover their medical bills as well.”

Shortly after the high school player died, reporters were asking officials for details on Evan Murray’s cause of death. According to the Associated Press, Murray’s teammates said it wasn’t clear whether the last hit was fatal since he had already taken several hard hits earlier in the game, and seemed slow to get up at times. An autopsy was planned for Saturday, but the results had not been made public as of this publishing.

What we do know for certain is the leading causes of death for American high school football players. The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research says that many such deaths are caused by underlying heart conditions, brain injuries caused by a hard hit, or even heat-related illnesses. Out of the 243 deaths that occurred from 1990 to 2010, 203 of the deaths involved high school football players.

Unfortunately, the 2014 death stats report shows the same trend.

“There were six fatalities directly related to football during the 2014 football season: five fatalities were in high school football (all in the fall) and one at the college level (spring football). There were no direct fatalities reported in organized youth, professional, or semiprofessional levels.”

In order to prevent these type of deaths from occurring, they recommend reducing risk by placing “butt blocking, face tackling, and spearing under the heading of ‘Helmet Contact – Illegal'” and they also urge for the improvement of high school players’ protective equipment. They also warn that “coaches who are teaching helmet or face to the numbers tackling and blocking are not only breaking the football rules, but are placing their players at risk for permanent paralysis or death.”

[Image via Shutterstock]

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