This story has been updated at 12:15 a.m. ET, Nov. 5
It was announced at his vigil on Wednesday evening that Luke Schemm was taken off of life support.
On Facebook, David Schemm announced the family’s decision:
“To everyone who has reached out to us, words cannot describe the love an support that we have felt from you. This afternoon Lisa Coston Schemm, Clay Schemm, and I had to do the hardest thing any parent or brother will have to do, we told Luke Schemm that we loved him and had the doctor shut off the life support. He was surrounded by family an friends. Our hearts are shattered. I know the only way we can get thru this is with the help of our friends an family, and of course God. We are planning a funeral on Tuesday at 10:30, as we get more details we will share them.”
The 17-year old becomes the eighth high school football player to have died in the U.S. since early September, according to USA TODAY Sports.
This story has been updated at 5:30 p.m. ET, Nov. 4
Wallace County (Sharon Spring, Kan.) senior captain Luke Schemm collapsed on the sideline after scoring a touchdown in his team’s 65-20 playoff win Tuesday, and Wallace County principal Brian McVay told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the star fullback and linebacker died in a Denver area hospital.
A hospital spokeswoman says Luke is being kept on life support so family and friends can pay their respects. She said he has been declared brain dead.
“We have come to terms that Luke, our beautiful gift from God, is no longer with us,” his father, David Schemm, said during a news conference Wednesday. “Luke gave everything in life that he had. He approached sports with that same passion. Life without risk is no life at all.”
Schemm’s father, David, wrote on Facebook after the game said that his son suffered brain trauma, causing it to swell and shut down blood flow to the organ.
As to what happened, McVay said:
“The team was gathered on the sidelines getting ready to go for the kick. Before they even left the sideline, he just collapsed,” McVay said.
At a news conference Wednesday outside the hospital in Englewood, Colo., David Schemm said his son had no prior health issues and he doesn’t know what caused his injuries.
Luke had scored a two-point conversion and then ran to the sideline where he collapsed.
The entire team and many supporters traveled Wednesday to the hospital in suburban Denver, which is about 220 miles west of Sharon Springs.
“Thank you to everyone for your prayers and reaching out to us,” Schemm wrote on Facebook. “Please continue to reach out to us, it is going to be a very difficult time for us, and we will only be able to make it thru with the help of God, family, friends, and community.”
Wallace County competes at Kansas’ eight-man Division I level. The Wildcats played their final regular-season game on Thursday, their first playoff game on Tuesday and were scheduled to play again Saturday. Schemm is second on the team in all-purpose yards and fourth in tackles. He also led Wallace County’s basketball team to a state title and finished as high as second in the high jump at the state’s Class 1A track meet.
Seven high school football players are reported to have died in the U.S. since early September, according to USA TODAY Sports.
The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research in Chapel Hill, N.C., has recorded 10 deaths in high school football since July 1. Six are classified as football related and four have been classified as indirectly related such as heat exertion. In all, the Center has 13 deaths in the calendar year and 42 in the last three years.
Here are the seven player deaths reported by USA TODAY Sports since early September.
- Cam’ron Matthews of Alto, Texas, becomes sixth prep football player to die this season
- Seattle area player Kenney Bui dies after on-field injury
- Three weeks, three communities, three high school football player deaths
- Teammate shares La. prep player’s last words to him
- New Jersey football player died from lacerated spleen after on-field injury
- Georgia’s Rod Williams dies two weeks after collapsing in practice
- Chicago player dies from blunt force trauma to head