Dylan Thomas, a 16-year-old junior for the Pike County Pirates, Georgia high school football player, who came out of a game with an injury and then lost consciousness on the sideline has died.
He was hit in the second quarter of the game. Dylan, a linebacker, was transported to WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital and then airlifted to Grady Hospital in Atlanta. He underwent surgery. He was later pronounced dead. The home game between Pike and rival Peach County High School was played in Zebulon, about an hour's drive south of Atlanta. Officials were not sure when or how in the game Dylan was injured.
Players and coaches pray for Dylan
The death has sparked an outpouring of support in the county and nearby communities. "He was the heart and soul of our defense. Just great student, great family, and the sky was gonna be the limit for him," his coach Brad Webber said. News of Thomas' death inspired friends, students and others in Zebulon to flood social media with tributes to Thomas. Recent injuries in high school, collegiate, and professional football have opened a debate over whether stricter safety regulations are needed. A long-term study by researchers at Boston University found that athletes who began playing tackle football before the age of 12 had more behavioral and cognitive problems later in life than those who started playing after they turned 12.Last year, of the 4 million young people who played organized football, 13 died from the sport.