Damon Janes (photo courtesy: Janes' family)
PORTVILLE, NY - Damon W. Janes, 16, a junior on the Westfield/Brocton varsity football team, who was injured during a football game against Portville Friday night has died.
A statement was released by the Women and Children's Hospital Monday afternoon.
Damon W. Janes, 16, a Junior who attended Brocton Central School, lost his fight and went to be with the Lord following his injury resulting from helmet-to-helmet collision during a Westfield/Brocton varsity football game.
His parents wish to express their gratitude to those who have supported and prayed for Damon and his family, and continue to request that their privacy be respected at this time.
2 On Your Side was told that Janes was hurt during a helmet-to-helmet tackle during the third quarter of a game against Portville. He was taken off the field on a stretcher by paramedics.
Janes was rushed to Olean General and was moved to Women and Children's Hospital later that night.
Portville Superintendent Tom Simon told us the Brocton student had suffered serious head injuries.
In a statement delivered to Channel 2 Sunday evening, Brocton Superintendent John W. Hertlein reiterated the desire for privacy cited in Kaleida Health's comments.
Monday, Hertlein did not want to speak on camera, but over the phone before the news of Janes' death became known, Hertlein told us about how people in both communities are reaching out to each other. Hertlein also spoke about how students made blue and green ribbons to show support.
"The kids are supporting each other. Our staff is supporting the kids and our kids are supporting the staff and we do have counselors in and around the school and so does Westfield," said Hertlein.
Monday, a local priest expressed how important it is to be there for those who are grieving especially since so many of them are young. He also spoke with us before we learned of Janes' death.
"We are attentive to them. We talk to them, and I think it's important to be real and to be honest and to be straightforward and to find ways that let them know that you do care about what they're going through and feel free to open up the gates so they feel free to talk about it whenever they need to," said Father Joseph Walter of St. Dominic Parish.
In light of what has happened, the Brocton and Westfield communities have either cancelled or postponed all sporting events through Friday.
The district issued this statement on their website Tuesday:
Our school and community is devastated by the football tragedy that occurred at the game last Friday night and we are grieving his loss. Damon was a unique, artistic, smart, athletic and friendly young man. Currently we are reaching out to support his family and friends and ask for time to mourn Damon's passing. Our strength, love and faith will pull us together to get us through this difficult time.
Crisis counseling services will be available to students in both Brocton and Westfield throughout the coming days. Our continued thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends,classmates and teammates.
Friday, September 20th at 7pm there will be a gathering on the Brocton Football field. About 200 sky lanterns are being sold for $3 each to benefit the family and will be released in honor of Damon.
There will also be a Spaghetti Dinner Benefit for the Damon Janes Memorial on September 29th from 12pm-8pm at the Nickel Plate Depot 131 Central Ave., Brocton, NY.