Zebulon, GA (CBS46)
A Pike County High School football player who was injured during Friday night's game has passed away.
Dylan Thomas, a linebacker on the team, suffered a head injury during the game against Greenville High School.
He was airlifted from the field and taken to Grady Hospital in Atlanta where he passed away Sunday night.
AT 530A: Devastated students return to Pike County HS after the death of a teen football player who died after a game injury. His name was Dylan Thomas. pic.twitter.com/n9272MvZ4K— Daniel Wilkerson (@WilkersonCBS46) October 1, 2018
Pike County High School, located in Zebulon, GA, is about an hour south of Atlanta.
Thomas' friends and family gathered on the high school football field on Sunday as a show of support.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
Michael Duncan, Superintendent, and Kevin Huffstetler, Principal, released this joint statement regarding Thomas' passing:
"I am saddened to inform you that Dylan Thomas, a Pike County High School Student, passed away last evening as a result of injuries sustained in the football game on Friday night. Dylan was an active participant in our school community and a member of the Class of 2020. Please remember his family in the days ahead.
Our school counselors have been and will continue to be available to provide assistance and support to students as they express their sorrow in the loss of their classmate and friend. Students' reactions to this type of event vary as they deal with a wide variety of feelings. It is important that you encourage your child to talk with you about feelings and concerns.
In addition, we offer you the following information to help you as you support your child:
Some children may have physical symptoms. They may complain of stomachaches, headaches, or problems with eating.
Some children may have changes in their sleep patterns. They may sleep more or less than usual.
Some children may lose interest in peer relationships. They may express worry or concern if separated from family members, as well as indicate a need for extra attention from parents.
Some students may display antisocial behavior. They may become more aggressive and/or hostile.
Your presence, concern, and support will be essential in helping your child deal with his or her grief. If we can provide further assistance, please contact us at 770-567-8770.
Michael Duncan, EdD
On Tuesday Dr. Robin Hines, Georgia High School Association Director, met with Superintendent Duncan and the school's athletic director to review the incident.
"In reviewing the game film, there is no indication of an injury occurring in the second quarter of the game, nor did the player or anyone else report a possible injury at that time.
In the third quarter, the player fell while attempting to pursue a play and reported a problem with the feeling in his leg. A certified trainer was called onto the field immediately and the player was helped off the field with what appeared to be a leg injury.
He was met at the bench by an orthopedic surgeon who was on the sideline along with the Pike County certified trainer.
The student was wearing a 2018 model Riddel Flex helmet (brand new). This is the highest-rated helmet that Riddel manufactures.
It also should be noted that Pike County coaches (like all GHSA certified coaches) are required to renew the concussion protocol offered by the GHSA each year.
There is no indication of any negligent action by anyone associated with Pike County in this incident. The coaches had taken every precaution to prepare for potential injuries and went beyond the required standards when working within the concussion protocol.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Dylan Thomas' family, his coaches, his teammates and the Pike County school system and community.
Dr. Robin Hines
Funeral services for Thomas will be held Thursday, October 4 at 4 p.m. at Oak Hill Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Moody Memorial Gardens.
The family is asking all football players (no matter what school) to wear their jerseys to the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a scholarship fund that is being established in honor of Thomas.
For more information, you may contact the funeral home at 770-567-8642.
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