Karns City community holds vigil to support high school quarterback who collapsed during game

KARNS CITY, Pa. — The Karns City community packed the high school’s bleachers Sunday night offering hope, comfort, and prayers for Mason Martin as he continues to heal.

The senior’s friends, family and classmates clapped for the high school football team as they walked onto the field, hand in hand, standing in solidarity during a time of uncertainty for one of their own.

PHOTOS: Karns City community holds vigil to support high school quarterback who collapsed during game

“We will now join as one to show our support for Mason,” said Karns City Area School Superintendent Eric Ritzert.

They came together in prayer for Martin on the very field where he collapsed Friday night. The quarterback’s jersey #2 was on display Sunday.

“We gather here today to pray for a miracle,” said Pastor Pete Sapp.

Martin’s sudden fall happened during the third quarter of the school’s home game against Redbank Valley. Players immediately took a knee and quietly prayed. Martin was quickly airlifted to UPMC hospital where he’s still recovering.

RELATED COVERAGE >>> Karns City quarterback hospitalized after collapsing on the field Friday night

Superintendent Ritzert said Martin’s parents haven’t left their son’s bedside.

“This is a very serious situation and that’s why as a community we want to be there to support them,” he said.

While Channel 11 doesn’t know the extent of Martin’s injuries or what led to his collapse, his parents said in a Facebook post that there is swelling around his brain.

The post read:

“First off, Stacy and I would like to thank everyone for their love and support. Your show of love has been so uplifting and inspiring. If we feel your love, we know that Mason can as well. When Stacy was first diagnosed with cancer we decided to never hide or sugarcoat anything. We would be upfront and honest with our children, family, and loved ones. Mason remains in critical condition with little change over the last 36 hours. The truth is we need a miracle. I’m not saying that to sound grim, but to let you know that we need the strength of your prayers. No one believes in this kid more than us, but he needs everyone’s strength and prayers. Right now, we have to wait for the swelling to go down to assess the extent of the damage to brain. So please pray the way he has always played the game, all out holding nothing back, maybe a little angry, definitely aggressive. We will keep you all updated if anything changes. Thank you, we love you all. Jeremiah 29-11.”

Martin’s fight comes as his mother continues her battle with cancer.

“The Martins have had more than their fair share of brokenness,” said Pastor Sapp.

Teammate Tate Beighley read his good friend’s favorite bible verse aloud during the vigil and offered words of comfort.

“Please keep your thoughts and prayers with the Martin family,” Beighley said. “Mason is a fighter and I promise you he will win this battle.”

Counselors were on hand at Sunday’s vigil. School Superintendent Ritzert said counselors will also be available for students and staff in the district starting Tuesday.

A fundraiser has been created to support the Martin family.

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