Luke Schemm, His Family's 'Beautiful Gift From God,' Becomes Latest High School Football Fatality
Luke Schemm, a Kansas teenager and his family’s “beautiful gift from God,” as his father described him, has become the latest high school football player to die this season. He was just a month shy of his 18th birthday.
“A beautiful gift from God was taken away from Lisa and I last night,” David Schemm wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday. “Luke Schemm suffered trauma to the brain, causing it to swell an shut off blood flow to the brain.”
Luke, a senior player for Wallace County High School in rural Sharon Springs, collapsed on the sideline after being tackled as he reached the end zone for a two-point conversion following a long touchdown run in the third quarter of Tuesday night’s game between Wallace County and Otis-Bison, his father said, per KWCH12.
Gary Musselman, the Kansas State High School Activities Association executive director, told The Wichita Eagle that game officials didn’t see Luke suffer any head or neck injuries during the game.
David Schamm fought back tears Wednesday as he addressed reporters outside the Denver-area hospital where his son was airlifted after the injury, describing him as hardworking and humble and eager for the future.
“The last thing I did to him before I left for my meetings, and I still give my boys when I see them, is a kiss on the forehead and I tell them I love them before they go to bed,” he said.
David Schamm also said he hopes Luke’s football team continues to play with the “passion” his son possessed.
“Luke gave his all on the field,” he said. “He lived life with a passion, and that’s what we want to see the team do. I told the coach, ‘I don’t care if you win or lose. I want these boys and I want these kids to lay it all out there on that field.’ ”
The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research said this is the 11th reported death in high school football in the U.S., per The Wichita Eagle.
Earlier this month, a 9-year-old third grader died after collapsing during football practice in Ohio. Wyatt Barber’s coaches called 911 after they found him lying face down in the grass. He was pronounced dead before he could be put on an emergency medical flight. His cause of death was related to a heart condition, according to reports
Last month, three high school football players in various parts of the country collapsed and died in a single week.