PIKE COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia high school football player has died after an injury suffered during a football game on Friday night, Atlanta's WSB-TV reports.
Witnesses said Pike County High School junior Dylan Thomas was taken by ambulance to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta for surgery. His uncle posted on Facebook that Thomas was in "very critical condition" and is suffering from brain swelling from the injury.
On Sunday night, Thomas' pastor confirmed to WSB-TV that Thomas had died.
Family and friends gathered for a vigil to pray for the high school football player on Sunday. The Pike County varsity football team carried his jersey onto their home field, where hundreds of fans joined them in prayer.
The community rallied in support of Thomas, sharing his photo with the hashtag #DylanStrong across social media.
“It meant the world for me. We got guys driving from like three hours away to come over just to see one kid and pray for him," said Thomas' teammate, Jake Patterson.
It is unclear where the 16-year-old was hit, but family members told WSB-TV that the defensive tackle seemed unfazed by the collision until the second half of the game.
"I heard that he was saying that, you know, he wasn't really feeling right, and that's when his left leg and left arm went numb and he pretty much fell off the bench," his uncle, Nick Burgess, told WSB-TV's Michael Seiden.
Another football player from Georgia was injured during a game this weekend.
Atlanta native Christion Abercrombie was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery after he was injured during a Tennessee State game Saturday.
The TSU Tigers middle linebacker was listed in critical condition.
"It was just a football play," said coach Rod Reed Sunday morning on his coach's radio show on WNSR. "He was taking on a block and it wasn't anything malicious or dirty or anything like that. Just an unfortunate situation."
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