A high school football player is in the intensive care unit after suffering a serious injury from a helmet-to-helmet hit during a game this weekend in Cattaraugus County, law enforcement sources said.
Damon Janes, 16, a running back from Westfield Academy and Central School was injured during Friday’s away game against Portville.
He reportedly lost consciousness shortly after a helmet-to-helmet hit during a play in the third quarter.
The game was cancelled.
Janes was taken to Olean General Hospital, and then transferred to Women & Children’s Hospital in Buffalo.
He was in critical condition late Saturday night.
Repeated attempts to reach school officials Saturday were unsuccessful.
But word of the football injury quickly spread throughout the community.
Students were gathering at Brocton Central School Saturday for a vigil and updates about their injured classmate, according to Twitter reports.
Brocton and Westfield Academy share a football team.
Hundreds of messages were going out Saturday on the social media site Twitter under the hashtag #PrayForDamon.
“Hes a strong kid. He can do it,” one young person posted. “Crazy beautiful how the community and nation can come together when our hearts are breaking all at once for the same reason,” wrote another girl.
Parishioners at St. Dominic’s Church were told at Mass Saturday evening that Damon was in critical condition and were asked to pray for him and his family.