HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

High school football player dies

Chad Stover, seen with his mother Amy in this undated photo, died Thursday.
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TIPTON, Mo. (AP)

A Missouri high school football player who has been hospitalized with a brain injury since an October playoff game died Thursday, according to the school district's superintendent.

Chad Stover, a junior at Tipton High School, had been hospitalized in critical condition since Oct. 31, when he was taken off the football field near the end of the game and taken by ambulance to the hospital. He died at a hospital in Columbia, said Scott Jarvis, superintendent of the Tipton School District.

Officials have not said how Stover, identified in multiple reports as 17 years old, was injured. Jarvis said last week he couldn't discuss details of the injury but described it as "very serious."

Stover's mother, Amy, had been posting updates on her son's hospitalization to his page on the Caring Bridge website. She posted this to the site on Thursday night.

As most of you know Chad is now whole again with the Lord. I held my sweet boy as he slipped away early this morning. There is a hole in my soul that will never be filled. Just when I think I am out of tears more come to my eyes. I miss him so much already. Although Chad is gone from sight he is not gone from mind and soul. Chad moved many of you to pray, to become closer to God, to hold your family a little tighter every day. Please in his memory--continue that closer relationship to God. Pray daily, kneel on the football to pray, rival towns come together as one and remember that in the end it's only a game. I have seen so many wonderful, heart warming things from all of you. We as a family are touched beyond belief. Pray for people when they hurt...they can really feel it. Hold your family close and never miss an opportunity to tell your child or loved one that you love them. Give them a hug or kiss even if they don't want it. That is one thing I have no regrets about. I told my Chad how much I loved him daily...I gave him hugs even when it cramped his style. I know he passed knowing how very much his family loved and cared for him. Pray daily, hug tightly and NEVER take one day for granted. On another note our nurses and hospital staff at Missouri University were just to wonderful for words. They laughed with us over stories of our boy, they cried with us when the end was near. I love them all and hope they know what wonderful people they are! I love you Chad Austin Stover~~forever and always!

This was the message she initially posted to the site:

My sweet baby boy Chad went down on a football field with 6 min left in the last game of the season. After a life flight to Columbia, MO we were told that Chad was in very serious condition. I would give anything to see those beautiful blue eyes again. Let me brag on my boy a bit. He is a very smart, very sweet kid. He never has given his father and I any problems. If he is not at home he is hunting, playing ball, hanging out with his friends or brothers. He loved playing football, and baseball and loved watching college basketball. They haven't given us much hope. So we pray. Lord Chad is in your hands now.


Chad Stover (18) shown during a September 2013 game.
Courtesy The Tipton Times, Curtis Simmons/AP Images

Jason West, spokesman for the Missouri State High School Activities Association, said the association had been made aware of Stover's injury and death, but he was uncertain how Stover was injured. "We do know the game was halted at that time," West said.

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He said the MSHSAA would review how the injury was dealt with at the field in Sedalia where the game was played. The association recommends having some type of medical service available at football games, but requires only that each school have an action plan in place to deal with medical emergencies. He said preliminary information indicates the school did follow its action plan.

The school and family have received outpourings of support since Stover was hospitalized. Schools around Missouri displayed red ribbons in honor of Tipton's school colors or displayed Stover's No. 18 on their fields. Residents also covered his central Missouri town of Tipton in red ribbons.

"He has so many different injuries going on in that beautiful head of his," her entry said.

Chad was a very popular, intelligent student, and the Stovers are active members of the Tipton school community, Jarvis said last week.

"If you wanted to pick a kid to be your son, that'd be the one you'd pick," Jarvis said.

Tagged: Missouri

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