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Monday, Sept. 16, 2013: Brocton football player dies from injury

   Leading off today: Brocton junior Damon Janes has died three days after collapsing during a varsity football game. He was 16.

   Officials at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo made the announcement Monday.

   Janes' parents issued a statement expressing their gratitude "to those who have supported and prayed for Damon and his family, and continue to request that their privacy be respected at this time.” Schoolmates had been posting words of encouragement on Twitter with a #PrayForDamon hashtag and a Facebook page created in the aftermath of the mishap had collected more than 8,300 "likes" is support of the young athlete.

   Janes' death was the third in three years for New York scholastic athletes competing in fall sports.

   Ronan Guyer, a 14-year-old Southold freshman, died last November five days after being placed in a medically induced coma, also at Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo. While scouting the course to be used the following day at the NYSPHSAA cross country championships at Elma Meadows, Guyer slipped on a muddy area and fell on his chest, triggering cardiac arrest. He had been breathing with the assistance of a ventilator while hospitalized.

   In October 2011, Phoenix varsity football player Ridge Barden died following a head injury suffered in a Friday night game. He complained of a severe headache following a play and collapsed while trying to stand up. Barden was initially treated at a local hospital and was in an ambulance en route to a Syracuse hospital when his condition deteriorated. Autopsy results showed he died of bleeding in the brain, due to blunt force trauma.

   Other recent deaths of football players in New York include:

   In 1983, Yonkers football player Fernando Guedes, 17, died after collapsing during the season-opening game vs.

  
Scarsdale. The death prompted the district to briefly suspend all sports while it investigated how an athlete with a serious heart ailment was allowed to participate.

   Newburgh Free Academy tri-captain James Arline, a 17-year-old senior linebacker, fell ill shortly after an October 1992 road game and died of a stroke. It was uncertain whether it was related to a blow suffered in the game.

   Torrance Wright Jr., a 17-year-old center on the football team at Rochester's Franklin High, collapsed and died during a four-team scrimmage in Livonia the week before the start of the 1999 regular season.

   Spackenkill junior football player Mark Milano died Oct. 7, 2006, from complications involving pain medication at his home a day after dislocating an ankle during a game at Millbrook.

   According to the Annual Survey of Football Injury Research prepared by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, there were 25 fatal injuries to U.S. high school football players between 2003 and 2013.

   Other sports have not been immune.

   In April 2007, Pittsford freshman lacrosse player Jeff Milano-Johnson, 14, died after he was struck in the back of his head just below the helmet by a ball during warmups before a game at Spencerport.

   Another freshman lacrosse player died in March 2000. Louis Acompora, a Northport goalie, was struck in the chest by a ball during a freshman game. Acompora, 14, suffered commotio cordis, a rare form of cardiac arrest considered reversible with the assistance of an automated external defibrillator, which typically was not available at sports contests at that time.

   His parents became active in raising awareness through the Louis Acompora Foundation, and then-Gov. George Pataki signed into law a bill in June 2002 requiring that a portable defibrillator be placed in each high school. Louis’ Law was the nation’s first to require AEDs, which are now commonplace at schools, public buildings and sporting events in many states.

   Binghamton High lacrosse player John Mack died Nov. 30, 2006, two days after suffering cardiac arrest when checked across the chest during a pickup lacrosse game in the offseason.

   New York City-area runners Stephanie Companioni (St. Thomas Aquinas) and Tanya Lovelace (St. Francis Prep), collapsed and died in February and April 1991, after competing. Both were reported to be instances of sudden heart failure.

   Earlier Monday, the Brocton school district announced that all sporting contests through Friday will be postponed, as will a scheduled school board meeting on Wednesday. All homecoming activities have been postponed until a later date.

   Week 2 scoreboard: With a handful of games unaccounted for as of this writing, you can get a recap of all the football scores here.

   Soccer rankings: The New York State Sportswriters Association released its first boys soccer rankings of the 2013 season today with Arlington (Class AA) and Jericho (A) holding down the top spots in the two largest classes.

   Livonia and Ichabod Crane are co-No. 1 teams in Class B, and Lansing (C) and Chazy (D) hold down the top spots in the small-school classes.

   Port Jefferson, the 2012 NYSPHSAA Class C champion, is in Class B this fall and starts off in the No. 19 spot.


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