High School Football Player Dies After Serious On-Field Injury

By Jason Hall

September 23, 2022

Rear view of American football players standing on Football field
Photo: Getty Images

A New Jersey high school football player died nearly two weeks after sustaining a serious injury during a game, local officials confirmed via NBC News.

Xavier McClain, 16, who played for Linden High School, succumbed to a severe head injury that initially took place during a September 9 game against Woodbridge, according to Linden Mayor Derek Armstead.

"With your prayers, Xavier fought a good fight. In the end, he succumbed to the injuries that he sustained a couple weeks ago while playing football during the LHS Tigers’ game vs Woodbridge," Armstead wrote in a Facebook post.

“This news hurts because I have known his parents, Lisa and Norm for years, Xavier and Andres, their two sons, since they were little boys,” Armstead added. “My wife and I spend time in their home and our children played together. Tragically, their worst fear came true.”

Thank you to all my Linden Pray Warriors. Together we prayed for a miracle and hoped for a different outcome. I trust...

Posted by Derek Armstead Mayor of Linden on Wednesday, September 21, 2022

McClain took a major hit during the second half of Linden's home game against Woodbridge and was briefly able to get back on his feet before collapsing again, NBC 4 New York reports.

The 16-year-old was transported via ambulance to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

“He got right back up like he was a strong person, and then fell back down," classmate Asia Marshall told NBC 4 New York. It was just hurting and sad to see someone go so fast, thinking they were gonna go back home to end up in a coma, you know."

Linden High School football's Twitter account posted "Rest In Peace Xavier McClain," along with a tribute graphic for the teenager, on Thursday (September 23).

Armstead said the community would come together to support McClain's family in the wake of his death.

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