Georgia high school football player injured in game dies

By: Alicia Turner | WCTV Eyewitness News
October 1, 2018

Dylan Thomas (Courtesy: Pike County High School)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Some argue that the possibility of serious injury or death are unintended consequences of football, others say the game simply isn’t worth it.

"Every time you go on the field you're taking a chance at losing your life or being paralyzed," said Godby High School head football coach Corey Fuller.

The dangers of football are a tough reality for all those involved.

"For that kid to go out there doing something that he loves to do, and never walk off the field again, it's amazing in a different way," says Fuller.

Fuller is one of many who has seen the impact from the gridiron, and how it can last a lifetime.

”I've been injured. I blew my knee out. I blew my ankle out. I know at 47 my brain is slipping, but I would still play football over again if I had to do it," he said.

Parent of kids playing football in high school say they often wonder if the pads and helmets are enough.

"I think some of these coaches have to get out of the old school ways. The old school ways are old for a reason. There are safer ways to play football and if we don't get safer there's not going to be any more football," said Jeremy Israel.

Jeremy’s son is a high school football player. He explained that eliminating plays like kick-off is an option to look at, the other is technique.

"Instead of tackling with your face into the numbers you want to tackle with your chest and head up," Jeremy said.

Other parents regard the risk as simply being too great. Parents like Marshall Ogletree and his wife say despite their love for the game, they’re opting for soccer instead for their son.

"I don't think we would allow him to play football. He's had a concussion at just falling off a swing at just five years old," said Marshall.

While Corey, Jeremy and Marshall might not know exactly how to make the game safer, they all agree one death is far too many.

By: Associated Press
October 1, 2018

ZEBULON, Ga. (AP) - A football player at a Georgia high school has died from a severe brain injury.

News outlets report Pike County High School student Dylan Thomas was hurt during a game Friday night and flown to a hospital in critical condition. Thomas' uncle, Nick Burgess, says Thomas was hit in the second quarter of the game and later collapsed on the sidelines when an arm and leg went numb.

The mayor of Williamson, Steve Fry, tells WAGA-TV Thomas underwent surgery to relieve brain swelling and went into a coma.

A vigil was held Sunday afternoon at the school for Thomas. Thomas' uncle and school say the teen died that night.

A fundraiser for medical costs and lost income started by Burgess had raised about $24,600 by Monday morning.