High school football player dies after on-field head injury

LINDEN, N.J. — A sophomore at a New Jersey high school has died after suffering a head injury during a football game two weeks ago.

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Xavier McClain was a sophomore at Linden High School and died Wednesday after collapsing on the field Sept. 9, WNBC reported. McClain took a hit during the second half of the game, and while he was able to get up, he collapsed again and had to be taken away in an ambulance.

Linden’s mayor, Derek Armstead, announced McClain’s death in a Facebook post, saying: “Together we prayed for a miracle and hoped for a different outcome. … 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. My wife and I spend time in their home and our children played together. Tragically, their worst fear came true. Norm and Lisa are devastated. Children are supposed to outlive their parents, not the other way around.”

McClain was known as a stand-out on the football team, and carried twice for 18 yards, caught an 8-yard pass and made four tackles in the game on Sept. 9 before his injury, NJ.com reported.

“He got right back up like he was a strong person, and then fell back down. It was just hurting and sad to see someone go so fast, thinking they were gonna go back home to end up in a coma, you know,” Asia Marshall, a classmate, told WNBC.

In a post on Twitter, Linden Football shared a photo of McClain, saying simply, “Rest In Peace.”

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