The parents of late 17-year-old Kansas high school football star Luke Schemm have publicly pronounced that they feel the sport itself is not to blame for their son’s untimely passing.
In an interview with ABC News, the Schemms, Lisa and David, steadfastly defended both the coaching staff at Wallace County High School and the relative safety of football as a sport while continuing to grieve the loss of their son.
“From what we understand and kind of looking at the play, (Luke Schemm) got tackled, and after he got tackled he jumped up and he ran to the sidelines,” David Shemm told ABC News. “After he’d gone to the sidelines and they started to huddle for their kickoff, Luke just collapsed. Even when he was tackled it was nothing extraordinary or bad or anything like that. It just did not look out of the ordinary.”
The fact that Shemm’s death appears to have come on a completely run-of-the-mill prep football play might be more cause for concern for many parents, yet the Schemms believe that their son died doing what he loved most in, “honestly just a fluke accident,” per Lisa Schemm.
The parents cited both the “wonderful coaches” at Wallace County and their commitment to “teach every safety thing they can” to the team’s players.
Still, Schemm’s death stands out as the latest tragedy to strike high school football in the 2015 season. The late Kansas teen is the eighth high school player to die since September and the 11th since preseason training began in some states in early July. The dramatically increased spate of deaths has led to a proposed U.S. Congressional Bill, which was announced on Thursday and would ask the Center for Disease Control to investigate the rise in high school football fatalities.
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