Kansas High School Football Player Dies After Collapsing During Game


A western Kansas high school football player who was brain dead and on life support a day after collapsing during a game has died.

Swedish Medical Center confirms Luke Schemm was pulled off life support sometime before 5 p.m MST Wednesday.

Brian McVay, superintendent and principal of Wallace County schools, said it’s unclear if Schemm, a senior at Wallace County High School, suffered any injuries during the Eight-Man Division I game. Schemm had just scored a touchdown and an extra point when he collapsed on the sidelines.

“The team was gathered on the sidelines getting ready to go for the kick. Before they even left the sideline, he just collapsed,” McVay said. “But as far as why, I haven’t had time to track that down.” He said Schemm was taken by ambulance to a local hospital then flown to the hospital in Denver. Sharon Springs is about 220 miles east of the Colorado city.

Schemm’s father, David Schemm, said after the game said his son suffered trauma to the brain, causing it to swell and shut off blood flow to the organ, reported CBS affiliate KWCH in Wichita.

Hospital spokeswoman Nicole Williams told The Associated Press previously that Schemm was “being kept on life support so family and friends can pay their respects.” She said he had been declared brain dead and would die when life support was withdrawn.

Gary Musselman, with the Kansas State High School Activities Association, says officials didn’t see Schemm sustain any head contact during the game.

Schemm’s case is somewhat similar to the case of New Jersey high school football player Evan Murray, who said he felt “woozy” after a tough tackle during a game but tried reassuring his teammates he would be fine as he was taken away to be assessed at a hospital. Murray died from internal bleeding caused by a laceration on his spleen.

There has been a spate of focus on player safety as the deaths among high schoolers and younger kids playing football continue to mount.

A nine-year-old Ohio boy died Monday after football practice. Last month, Chicago high school football player Andre Smith died after suffering an injury during a game.

From July through Wednesday there have been 11 reported deaths in high school football in the U.S., according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The center said seven of those deaths were directly related to a football trauma and four were indirectly related, meaning other health issues contributed to the death.

SOURCE: CBS News, The Associated Press