Football is no longer what it used to be, and for good reason.
Last Friday night, the sport claimed another life when Damon Jones, a 16-year old junior running back for Brocton High School in New York, died after losing consciousness following a helmet-to-helmet hit. Jones was pronounced dead on Monday after failing to regain consciousness.
During the third quarter, Jones took the hit from an opposing Portville High player. He attempted to make his way to the sideline before collapsing, at which time he was quickly transported to a local hospital in Buffalo.
The game was cancelled following Jones’ departure from the field.
After Jones was hospitalized on Friday, the school came together to show their support for their fallen football player. Students and parents gathered at the Brocton campus on Sunday night and students all donned the school colors – blue and white – on Monday.
As of right now, all sporting events and homecoming activities for this week have been cancelled. The school has brought in counseling for any students struggling with the loss of their classmate.
This tragedy is just more evidence to why the game of football has undergone so much change in recent years and safety has becoming such a pressing concern. Youth football coaches have been urged to teach better technique such as keeping your head up when making tackles.
Even the NFL has focused on making examples of players who display the reckless style that causes long-term injuries.
Our thoughts here at Rant Sports go out to the Jones family and the entire community that was affected by this tragic death.