High school football player dies after collision

PORTVILLE, NY (WGRZ) - Damon W. Janes, a 16-year-old junior on the Westfield/Broctonvarsity football team, has died after an injury who during a football game againstPortville 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 CentralSchool, lost his fight and went to be with the Lord following hisinjury resulting from helmet-to-helmet collision during aWestfield/Brocton varsity football game.

His parents wish to express their gratitude to those who have supportedand prayed for Damon and his family, and continue to request that theirprivacy be respected at this time.

Our sister station WGRZ 2 On Your Side was told that Janes was hurt during a helmet-to-helmettackle during the third quarter ofa game against Portville. He wastaken 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 reiteratedthedesire for privacy cited inKaleida Health's comments.

Monday, Hertlein did not want to speakon camera, but over the phone before the news of Janes' death becameknown, Hertlein told us about how people in both communities arereaching out to each other. Hertlein also spoke about how students madeblue and green ribbons to show support.

"The kids are supporting each other. Our staff is supporting the kidsand our kids are supporting the staff and we do have counselors in andaround the school and so does Westfield," said Hertlein.

Also on Monday, a local priest expressed how important it is to be there forthose who are grieving especially since so many of them are young. Healso spoke with us before we learned of Janes' death.

"We are attentive to them. We talk to them, and I think it's importantto be real and to be honest and to be straightforward and to find waysthat let them know that you do care about what they're going through andfeel free to open up the gates so they feel free to talk about itwhenever they need to," said Father Joseph Walter of St. Dominic Parish.

In light of what has happened, theBrocton and Westfield communities have either cancelled or postponed allsporting events through Friday.

The district issued this statement on their website Tuesday:

Our school and community isdevastated by the football tragedy that occurred at the game lastFriday night and we are grieving his loss. Damon was a unique,artistic, smart, athletic and friendly young man. Currently we arereaching out to support his family and friends and ask for time to mournDamon's passing. Our strength, love and faith will pull us together toget us through this difficult time.

Crisis counseling services will be available to students in both Broctonand Westfield throughout the coming days. Our continued thoughts andprayers are with his family, friends, classmates and teammates.

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