HS Teen Dies After Suffering Head Injury in Playoff Game

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  • PHOENIX — PHOENIX (AP) — A high school football player in Arizona died from an injury suffered in the fourth quarter of a blowout playoff game loss, serving as another tragic reminder of the dangers of head trauma in youth sports.

    Hopi High School senior Charles Youvella died of a traumatic brain injury Monday at a hospital, the Arizona Interscholastic Association said. He was injured Saturday in Hopi’s 60-6 loss to Arizona Lutheran in a first-round playoff game. Youvella scored his team’s only touchdown in the game.

    The death attracted national attention after Arizona Cardinals star wide receiver tweeted a picture of Youvella and asked people to pray for the teen’s family, friends and teammates.

    A community memorial is planned for Wednesday evening at the high school auditorium. The Arizona Interscholastic Association says Charles Youvella died with his family by his side. Youvella’s father, Wallace Youvella Jr., is the school’s athletic director.

    “We’ll all have to move forward and at least support one another and support our young children,” Hopi Chairman Le Roy Shingoitewa said.

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