Parents of New Jersey football player who died speak out

The grieving parents of the New Jersey high school football player who died after suffering an apparent head injury expressed regret over missing what wound up being their son’s final game.

Xavier McClain, a 15-year-old sophomore and standout football player at Linden High School, spent nearly two weeks in a coma after he was brutally hit returning a second half kick-off against Woodbridge on Sept. 9. He succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.

“We’ve never missed a game, but this one we missed,” Xavier’s mother, Lisa McClain told WABC on Friday.

The 15-year-old took a brutal hit while returning a kick during a game.

“And I’ve got to live with that. I wasn’t at that game. I’ll have to live with that,” lamented the boy’s father, Norm McClain.

Norm McClain had coached his son since he was just five years old, and watched him grow into the promising young player he had become, according to WABC.

Xavier was one of only a select few sophomores who earned a starting time on the school’s varsity squad, and even pushed his way into varsity snaps as a freshman.

“I’m just going to try to put my wife back together and I just hope this doesn’t happen to any other kids playing ball,” the bereaved father said.

Xavier McClain playing football
Xavier McClain was a rising star for the Linden High School Tigers.
Xavier McClain
Xavier’s father had coached his son since he was five years old.

Xavier’s mother said that “it’s not fair that I’m burying my son.”

“That boy was loved. He was in every sport, social, bright, gifted and talented. And I’m never going to see him graduate high school,” she added.


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