Community Mourning After 13-Year-Old Lexington Student Dies After Football Injury
CLEVELAND COUNTY, Oklahoma - A community is in mourning after a teenage football player died after a game in Lexington. It’s the second tragedy in the area in the past 10 days.
Lexington Public Schools confirms 13-year-old Riley Boatwright died on Tuesday after playing a game in Stratford.
Witnesses said Boatwright collapsed on the field and could not be revived.
Just 10 days ago, 16-year-old Peter Webb, who played for Southwest Covenant died after suffering an injury during a game in Yukon.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association said these types of injuries are unusual.
“Fatalities in high school sports are very rare as you know, and they are even more rare when they are coupled together in the same state, in the same short amount of time,” said football administrator Mike Whaley.
OSSAA said over the years, gear has improved to protect participants and the same with coaching.
“From the standpoint of how we are teaching the game, in what progressions are we teaching the game, and in what things are we looking at as risk minimization for all areas of the game,” said Whaley.
Whaley said he spoke with Lexington’s coach and offered his support.
“Let’s pause right now and take a breath, try to meet the needs of those people emotionally, spiritually, and physically to what needs to happen with them, and then let’s analyze what’s happened and take that knowledge farther,” said Whaley.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for Boatwright’s family. It includes a journal entry he made just hours before he died, talking about how, if he had a million dollars, he’d donate to a cancer foundation because, in his words, “I believe if a family has limited time with their kid the last thing they should have to have to think about is expenses.”