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Georgia football player's death highlights the dangers of high contact sports

Georgia football player's death highlights the dangers of high contact sports.jpg
Georgia football player's death highlights the dangers of high contact sports.jpg
Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-01 14:41:40-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - In Georgia, family, friends and teammates of a high school football player are devastated after he passed away Sunday night.

16-year-old Dylan Thomas died from a head injury he received during Friday night's game. He collapsed on the sidelines Friday night.

It's unclear where he was hit but he seemed unfazed by the collision until the second half. He never regained consciousness and doctors put him in a medically-induced coma.

"I want to get out there and play for him," said Jake Patterson, one of Thomas' teammates. "Because that's what he would want for us to get out there and play for him, instead of just quitting."

On Sunday, the Pike County Varsity team locked arms and carried their teammate's jersey onto their home field where hundreds of fans joined them in prayer.

Thomas's tragic death is a reminder of the damage football can do.

Concussions are generally caused by head collision, which happens often during contact sports. Symptoms include dizziness, difficulty with vision, and loss of consciousness just to name a few.

"The concussion is generally mild but can be extremely systematic particularly in young adults and young children. They're still growing," explained Narlin Beaty, with Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. "Their sutraline aren't always healed, not always solidified the way they would be in a adult."

Young kids are more vulnerable to concussions because their skulls aren't fully developed. If a child experiences a concussion during sports, parents should pull kids from that sport immediately.

CTE is caused by repeated trauma to the brain, like concussions during football games. It can only be diagnosed after a person has died, so as of now, there's no way to diagnose and treat it early.

It's also unclear exactly how much trauma it takes to develop CTE.