A Lexington family has launched a petition to require an ambulance presence at junior high and high school football games mandatory statewide.
Riley Boatwright, 13, collapsed on the field while playing in the Lexington vs. Stratford game on September 24. The game was held in Stratford.
Over three weeks have passed, and the pain of losing a son, brother and best friend has not gotten any easier.
“He loved everybody with pure intentions, he had nothing but pure intentions to his little heart and soul,” said Natalie Boatwright, Riley’s older sister. “Riley was an old soul, Riley was pure, Riley was God fearing.”
Natalie was not at the September 24 football game. Losing her bother happened within a matter of minutes.
“Your world is stopped, you cannot imagine that life can be that precious and that fragile, that it can be taken that quickly,” said Natalie. “Riley didn't know when he got up that morning, when he put his little shoes and his jeans on and ran to the bus, that it was going to be his last day.”
In Oklahoma, it's not required an ambulance be present at junior and high school football games. The Boatwright family hopes to change that with an online petition.
“It’s about moving forward. It is not a blame game,” said Regina Faught, Riley’s cousin. “It is not about saying this one should have done, or this person should have done this. It’s about another family never having to go through with this.”
Logistics may be difficult for Wadley's EMS based in Purcell. With only five ambulances, covering all area games on a given night may be difficult. The company is currently working with area school districts on both a temporary and permanent solution.
October 18 would have been Riley’s 14th birthday.