LINDEN, N.J. (WABC) — The parents of a New Jersey high school football player who died weeks after he was injured in a game spoke out for the first time Friday.
Xavier McClain, a 16-year-old freshman at Linden High School, died Wednesday after he suffered a serious injury during a game on September 9 against Woodbridge High School.
“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,” Norm McClain said.
“I’m hurting. I lost my boy. I love my son,” Lisa McClain said. “He’s so loved. He’s got a lot of family. And it’s not fair that I’m burying my son.”
The pair, who say they normally attended all of their son’s games, regret the fact that it was the one game they missed.
We’ve never missed a game, but this one we missed,” Lisa said.
“And I’ve got to live with that. I wasn’t at that game. I’ll have to live with that,” Norm said.
Norm had coached his son since he was five and watched him grow as a football player.
“One thing at a time, that’s all I’m asking. Just let us bury our son,” Norm said.
As the Linden community tries to come to grips with this football tragedy, the McClains struggle to stay strong, but realize it’s going to take time.
“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,” Lisa said.
“The Woodbridge Township School District is saddened to hear the news… In speaking with the football coaches from Linden High School, Xavier was a dynamic young man whose positive attitude left an indelible mark on all those he interacted with,” the district said. in a statement Friday.
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