LINDEN — Mayor Derek Armstead has announced the death of a high school football player from brain damage sustained during a game.
Xavier McClain, a 5’5″ sophomore running back, was injured in the Tigers’ second game of the season Sept. 9 against Woodbridge, according to the mayor. In earlier posts on his Facebook page, Armstead said that McClain had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was on life support.
“Together we prayed for a miracle and hoped for a different outcome,” Armstead wrote. “With your prayers, Xavier put up a good fight. Ultimately, he succumbed to the injuries he suffered a few weeks ago.
Armstead said he has known the teenager’s parents for years, which makes the news even harder to take in.
“My wife and I spend time in their house and our children have played together. Tragically, their worst fear has come true. Norm and Lisa are devastated. Children are meant to outlive their parents, not the other way around. I asked you to continue to keep the family in your prayers,” Armstead wrote.
McClain is the second Union County football player to die in September.
Ali Muhammad of Rahway High School died the week of September 5, according to a tweet from the team. The eldest died in his sleep, according to a report from NJ.com.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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