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After Game Related Death, Questions About HS Football Safety

(WBEN) The death of 16 year old Brocton High School football player Damon Janes death marks the second time in less than a month that a high-school player has died from injuries suffered on the field.

Janes was a running back on the Westfield/Brocton football team and lost consciousness after a helmet-to-helmet hit during a game against Portville on Friday. He was a junior at Brocton Central School.

"Everything that the  coaches and the national athletics association have all tried to do , it is all being done to improve the safety of the game...  trying to eliminate the head hit. But unfortunately in any sport, whether it's soccer, whether it is skateboarding whatever,  you are going to have accidents, you are going to have injury"

- Dick Gallagher, WNY High School Sports

The cause of death has yet to be determined. Janes' parents released a statement expressing their "gratitude to those who have supported and prayed for Damon and his family."

 In mid-August, De’Antre Turman, a 16-year-old junior at Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga., fractured a vertebrae in his upper spinal cord during a scrimmage.

According to the Annual Survey of Football Injury Research prepared by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina, there were 25 fatal injuries to high school football players in the U.S. between  2003 and 2013 

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Upon his death, the parents of Damon Janes released the picture above, with the following statement:

"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."

Brocton and Westfield  Schools have postponed all sporting contests for the week of Sept. 16- 19. Brocton announced Monday that all Homecoming activities are postponed until a later date.

Statement from Westfield Academy

"We need to attend to the needs of families, our students and staff. Counseling services are available to students. Our continued thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, classmates and teammates. The District has no other comment at this time."

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