Parents & coaches react to high school football player's death - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Parents & coaches react to high school football player's death

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

A Franklin Parish High School football student dies after being injured during a punt return. Tyrell Cameron's death Friday night, rocked the high school football community.

On a balmy Saturday night, family and friends of McDonogh 35 and St. Augustine football players gathered at Tad Gormley Stadium to watch the teams square off. On the forefront of most parent's minds, the death Friday night of 16-year-old Tyrell Cameron, from what may have been a neck injury.

“It makes you think about your child whose 16 as well,” St. Aug parent Vinnie Britton said.

Cameron played for Franklin Parish High School. Sheriff Kevin Cobb says the teen was injured during the fourth quarter of the game. He was taken to Franklin Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

John Curtis Head Coach J.T. Curtis, explains, “Usually it's a cervical spine injury that occurs when a tackle or a block is made with the head in an incorrect position.”

Curtis is an experienced high school football coach who says he's seen plenty of injuries over the years, including the 2012 accident that paralyzed Tulane player Devon Walker. But Curtis says he's never seen anything like what happened to Tyrell Cameron.

“Death is extremely unusual. This is the first one in Louisiana that I have heard of that caused this type of death this quickly,” Curtis said.

Condolences are pouring in for Cameron's family on social media. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association released a statement saying safety of student athletes is their highest priority and that physicians meet multiple times a year to find a way to minimize injuries. But even the best minds sometimes can't prevent freak accidents.

Curtis says, “I would bet that it was such an instantaneous, within a split second of a moment that an injury like this would occur and sometimes these accidents happen.”

Which is why parents we spoke to say it's a constant fear, but they just have to have faith their son will be ok. “I hope and pray that the coaches are teaching the right way, the kids are learning the right way and they do what they're supposed to do on the field to protect themselves and be safe,” Britton said.

Friends of Tyrell Cameron gathered Saturday night for a candlelight vigil in his memory. The coroner has yet to release an official cause of death.

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