DENVER, Nov. 5 (UPI) — A 17-year-old high school football player from Kansas has died after he scored a touchdown and collapsed on the sidelines, adding to the growing number of young athletes dying this football season.
Wallace County High School football player Luke Schemm was taken off life support Wednesday at a Denver hospital, his family said.
The linebacker collapsed Tuesday after scoring a touchdown in a game in Sharon Springs, Kan., between his school and Otis-Bison High School. He was transported to the Swedish Medical Center in Denver.
The family announced at a vigil Wednesday that Luke was reported brain-dead after he was airlifted to the hospital and later removed from life support.
Luke’s father, David Schemm, said a head injury caused his son’s brain to swell and cut off blood flow. It is unclear if the injury was sustained during the game. He said his son had no known health problems.
Luke Schenn, who ran track and played basketball at the school and participated in music and theater, planned to attend Kansas State University next year.
“Luke gave his all on the field,” his father, David Schemm, said. “He lived life with a passion.”
Luke was the 11th high school football player in the United States to die during practice or a game since the summer. The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research says about 12 high school and college football players die each year, usually from sudden cardiac arrest.
His death comes the same week a 9-year-old boy collapsed and died during football practice for an elementary school team.