Linden High School sophomore student and football player Xavier McClain tragically died on Wednesday related to an in-game injury he first suffered on Sept. 9.
Facing Woodbridge High School, McClain suffered an apparent head injury during the Big Central Conference game’s second-half kickoff return, which was handled by Linden.
Minutes after the play, an ambulance was called onto the field to take McClain to the hospital after going down on the kickoff with severe head trauma cited as the injury, as reported by NJ.com.
Linden’s Public School district released a statement on Thursday announcing McClain’s passing. The sophomore was under medical care since suffering the injury weeks ago.
“The Linden Public School district is deeply saddened by the tragic death of a Linden High School sophomore student,” the statement read. “The district extends its heartfelt condolences and will continue to offer prayers and support to the family during this difficult time.”
Linden Mayor Derek Armstead posted a tribute regarding the promising high school player and student.
“At this time, the best way to help them and Xavier is for every one of you to pray,” Armstead posted on Facebook. “If you can, stop what you are doing for a minute right now and join me in a moment of silence and prayers.”
“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,” Armstead added. “Tragically their worst fear came true.”
Cover photo provided by Mike Kinney
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela