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WNY football mourns loss of Damon Janes

By Keith McShea

It is impossible to put into words how inexplicable and how sad this is.

Monday the news came regarding the death of Damon Janes, a Brocton junior who lost consciousness during Friday night's game against Portville. 

Charlie Specht and Steve Watson have reported this difficult story over the weekend. This is the story in today's paper.

Ken Stoldt, the Section VI Football chairman, said the entire local football community is “deeply saddened” by the death.

Janes was admitted to the hospital Friday night and the Village of Brocton rallied in support the family on Saturday

Janes played for the combined Westfield/Brocton team; the team is referred to as Westfield because Westfield has the majority of players and personnel in the program. On the Westfield roster, Janes is listed a 5-foot-10, 165-pound junior running back.

Janes was injured late in the third quarter of Portville's 32-6 home victory that was called in the aftermath of the injury. Janes scored the only touchdown in the game for Westfield, a 5-yard run that came earlier in the third quarter, according to the scoring report we received on the game Friday night

The situation is unfortunately similar to another relatively recent loss of life in upstate New York following a high school football game. 

This is a New York Times story published in the days following the the death of 16-year-old Ridge Barden of John C. Birdlebough High School -- commonly referred to as Phoenix since that is the Section III (Syracuse area) town were the school is located. The somber tone and circumstances of that story 

John Moriello, president of the New York State Sportswriters Association, has a very informative blog post regarding the unfortunate realities of high school sports-related fatalities in our state. 

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

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