Monday, December 22, 2014

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Community rallies for critically hurt high school football player

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Buffalo: Community rallies for critically hurt high school football player
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BROCTON, N.Y. -- BROCTON, N.Y.-- "Small towns like this, people are shaken in general, and understandably, this is hard," said Father Joseph Walter.

Father Walter asked the parishioners of Saint Dominic's Roman Catholic Church in Westfield to pray Sunday for 16-year-old Damon Janes of Brocton.

"Our hearts ache for the family, our hearts ache for everyone who knew him, our hearts ache for our young people, but they ache not without hope," said Father Walter.

Janes plays football for Westfield-Brocton's combined team, and was injured Friday night in a helmet-to-helmet tackle in a game in Portville.

He remains in critical condition at Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

A hospital spokesman released a statement, saying “Jane’s parents and family request their privacy be respected as they fight and pray for him at this time.”

"He was just thinking about getting is license, and realized he liked accounting and he was in to Shakespeare and he loved going hunting with his brother. His brother was like his best friend," said Janes’ aunt Ashley Wakeley.

Not only are family and friends praying for Damon in Buffalo, but back at home, people in both the Brocton and Westfield communities are sending their thoughts as well.

"This is devastating, this community is close when there's a tragedy,” said Brocton resident Hial VanArsdale. “The community pulls together. They're good people."

Throughout the weekend, well wishes and prayers continued to pour in through social media.

Family, friends and teachers took to Twitter to send their thoughts to Damon's family using #PrayForDamon.

Students also met at the high school throughout the weekend and have been asked to wear green clothes and ribbons on Monday.

Brocton's Superintendent is also responding to the accident.

In a statement to YNN, John Hertlein said:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and teammates. I'm terrifically proud of both communities. It was one team and now it is one community.”

Meantime, the superintendent of Portville Central schools issued a statement Saturday saying:

"We at Portville Central School extend our support and prayers to the injured student's family and the school communities of Westfield and Brocton.” ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP