BROCTON – Ribbons hung from trees lining a portion of Main Street in the village of Brocton Sunday evening as a community support gathering was held at the Brocton Central School cafeteria for Brocton varsity football player Damon W. Janes.
The family of the 16-year-old has requested privacy ever since he was transported from Portville to Women & Children’s Hospital at Buffalo after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit during the third quarter of a Class D football game Friday night between Brocton/Westfield (which is a combined team) and Portville Central School.
As a result, the OBSERVER was not permitted to be present at the gathering.
Janes was taken to Olean General Hospital, then transferred to Women & Children’s.
Women & Children’s issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying Janes, a high school junior, is in critical condition in the pediatric intensive care unit of the hospital. The statement reiterated the family’s request for privacy as they fight and pray for him at this time.
YNN reported that the parishioners of Saint Dominic Roman Catholic Church in Westfield were asked to pray for Janes.
“Small towns like this, people are shaken in general, and understandably, this is hard,” Father Joseph Walter said. “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.”
Brocton Superintendent John Hertlein issued his own statement, saying: “Students, parents, staff and community members have been brought in for support on both Saturday and Sunday. Our thoughts and prayers are with Damon’s family, friends and teammates. Both Brocton and Westfield have reached out to each other for support during this time and I’m terrifically proud of both communities. It was one team and now it is one community.”
The Portville superintendent issued a statement on 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.”
A Facebook post regarding Janes stated: “The family has asked that NO ONE BUT THE VERY IMMEDIATE FAMILY come to the hospital. They are so touched and grateful for the amazing support everyone is showing them and Damon and they thank you from the bottom of their hearts. Unfortunately it is also very overwhelming at this point.”
Counseling services will be available to students who need them throughout the entire week at Brocton.
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