Southern Ky. community mourning loss of high school football player

A southern Kentucky community is mourning the loss of a young man who died after he was injured in a high school football practice game.
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 1:34 PM EDT
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PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A southern Kentucky community is mourning the loss of a young man who died after he was injured in a high school football practice game.

The state High School Athletic Association is reporting that junior Andrew Dodson died on Monday.

He was hospitalized last week after suffering an injury.

KHSAA posted a statement on social media about his passing.

“You are just stunned. For the community, for the entire high school athletics family. Which is such a huge part of the fabric of our state,” said Julian Tackett of KHSAA.

Dodson played the tight end and defensive end position for the Maroons in his junior season.

We are told that Dodson was participating in a scrimmage where he was injured. He was taken to a hospital, and many people posted on social media that he and his family needed prayer.

“Indicated that the kid was participating in a normal football action. He got tackled and hit his head on the ground. You hear of all the concussions, helmet to helmet, from what we are hearing that was not the case,” Tackett said.

Tackett says he’s not aware of anything like this happening during spring practice or even during a game other than heat or cardiovascular issues more than a decade ago.

“The technology today is so good at preventing head injuries or preventing things. You cry out to figure, we want to make sure nothing could have been done,” said Tackett.

Following up on sports injuries after Pulaski Co. player death

In an annual study of football injuries by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, they say there were 4.2 million football players in 2021.

There were just four deaths related to traumatic brain injuries, and all were high school students. Two were from tackling and included a defensive end.

The study finds deaths from exertional or medical conditions while playing football are more common, but were still relatively low...including eight cardiac arrests and two heat strokes among high school athletes.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about what took place and what caused Dodson’s death.

Dodson’s father was very active in the Baptist Church and was employed recently with the State Baptist Convention. Their Executive Director Todd Gray issued a statement saying their hearts are broken for the Dodson family and they will be praying for them in days ahead. He says their confidence is that the God who overcame death will minister to this precious family in the days ahead.

Many other high school football programs around the state are posting about Dodson’s death, asking people to lift up his family and the school community in their prayers.

University of Kentucky Head Football Coach Mark Stoops tweeted a statement.