A New Jersey high school football player dies after being injured on the field

A New Jersey high school football player has died nearly two weeks after being seriously injured during a soccer game earlier this month, officials said.

Xavier McClain, 16, died from injuries sustained during the September 9 game between his school, Linden High School and nearby Woodbridge High School, Derek Armstead, mayor of Linden, a city 13 miles southwest of Manhattan, said Wednesday.

“With your prayers, Xavier had a good fight,” Armstead wrote in a Facebook post. “In the end, he passed away from the injuries he sustained two weeks ago while playing football during the LHS Tigers game against Woodbridge.”

“This news is painful because I have known his parents, Lisa and Norm for years, Xavier and Andrés, their two sons, since they were young,” he said. “My wife and I spend time in their house and our children play together. Tragically, their worst fears come true.”

Linden was playing with Woodbridge at home when McClain took a heavy blow during the second half of the match, NBC New York mentioned. The teenager managed to get back on his feet, but collapsed again, prompting officials to call an ambulance.

“He came back again like he was a tough guy, and then he fell again,” her classmate Asia Marshall told NBC New York. It was heart-wrenching and heartbreaking to see someone leave so quickly, thinking they were going to come home to end up in a coma, you know.”

The outlet reported that McClain was taken to the hospital for treatment, but eventually succumbed to a severe head injury.

A Twitter account identifying itself as the official Linden High School football page honored McClain on Thursday with “Rest In Peace Xavier McClain.”

Armstead said the Linden community will do everything in its power to support the MacLean family in the wake of the tragedy. Armstead and Linden High School did not immediately respond to Lil’s requests for comment.

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