Another high school football team is mourning the loss of a team member. Charles Youvella was playing in the playoff game in his senior year when he took a hit that ended his life. According to Bleacher Report, the hit didn’t seem bad at first–Charles was conscious when he left the field and he said he felt okay–but he still passed away two days later.
A running back and defensive back on the Keams Canyon Hopi High School, Charles was 5’5″ but a fighter. His team was down 60-6 in Saturday’s game when he took the hit. He thought he was fine and was in the game for two more plays before he collapsed. The teen was conscious and alert when he left the field on a stretcher but by the time he got to the hospital his condition was critical–and it only got worse. He passed away on Monday. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald tweeted, “Please say a prayer for Hopi High players, friends & family of Charles Youvella who passed away tonight” along with a picture of the deceased boy.
When tragedies like this happen, people want answers. How did this happen? Right now, there’s no obvious answer. AZ Central reports there was no faulty equipment and Charles didn’t have a history of concussion. Game officials say there was nothing “out of the ordinary” in the game or the hit; Charles was just unlucky and hit his head especially hard on the ground.
Earlier this season, 16-year-old Damon Janes died after a football game. Do you think high school sports are too dangerous or intense?