Damon Janes (photo courtesy: Janes' family)
PORTVILLE, NY (WGRZ) - Damon W. Janes, a 16-year-old junior on the Westfield/Brocton
varsity football team, has died after an injury who during a football game against
Portville on Friday night.
A statement was released by the Women and Children's Hospital Monday afternoon.
Damon W. Janes, 16, a Junior who attended Brocton Central
School, lost his fight and went to be with the Lord following his
injury resulting from helmet-to-helmet collision during a
Westfield/Brocton varsity football game.
His parents wish to express their gratitude to those who have supported
and prayed for Damon and his family, and continue to request that their
privacy be respected at this time.
Our sister station WGRZ 2 On Your Side was told that Janes was hurt during a helmet-to-helmet
tackle during the third quarter of a game against Portville. He was
taken off the field on a stretcher by paramedics.
Janes was rushed to Olean General and was moved to Women and Children's Hospital later that night. Portville Superintendent Tom Simon said the Brocton student had suffered serious head injuries.
In a statement delivered to Channel 2 on Sunday evening, Brocton Superintendent John W. Hertlein reiterated
the desire for privacy cited in Kaleida Health's comments.
Monday, Hertlein did not want to speak
on camera, but over the phone before the news of Janes' death became
known, Hertlein told us about how people in both communities are
reaching out to each other. Hertlein also spoke about how students made
blue and green ribbons to show support.
"The kids are supporting each other. Our staff is supporting the kids
and our kids are supporting the staff and we do have counselors in and
around the school and so does Westfield," said Hertlein.
Also on Monday, a local priest expressed how important it is to be there for
those who are grieving especially since so many of them are young. He
also spoke with us before we learned of Janes' death.
"We are attentive to them. We talk to them, and I think it's important
to be real and to be honest and to be straightforward and to find ways
that let them know that you do care about what they're going through and
feel free to open up the gates so they feel free to talk about it
whenever they need to," said Father Joseph Walter of St. Dominic Parish.
In light of what has happened, the
Brocton and Westfield communities have either cancelled or postponed all
sporting events through Friday.
The district issued this statement on their website Tuesday:
Our school and community is
devastated by the football tragedy that occurred at the game last
Friday night and we are grieving his loss. Damon was a unique,
artistic, smart, athletic and friendly young man. Currently we are
reaching out to support his family and friends and ask for time to mourn
Damon's passing. Our strength, love and faith will pull us together to
get us through this difficult time.
Crisis counseling services will be available to students in both Brocton
and Westfield throughout the coming days. Our continued thoughts and
prayers are with his family, friends, classmates and teammates.
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