Remember The Fallen Football Players Today On Thanksgiving

Today before you feast and enjoy the family and friends your with I want you to do me a favor.  Before you watch your favorite team go to war I want you to do something you may have never ever done but I promise it won’t hurt.

I want you to say a little pray for the fallen.  The young boys who have given their lives in pursuit of a game that we Americans just can not get enough of.  And I want you to say a prayer for the guys your watching out on that field.  Because some of them are killing themselves right now so you can enjoy your day.  Many of the players you watch have had or will have both short and long term disability from the game they are playing.  Some of them will die of complications from CTE which is a newly confirmed brain disease caused by the game of football.

Now please enjoy the game.  The boys would not have it any other way.  But if you see a helmet to helmet blow or a kid go down and not get up or even just a vicious hit I want you to pray for their safety and not get up and do that dance that we have all done in that situation.

Today on Thanksgiving Day I want you to remember and honor these young men who lay it all on the line as modern day Gladiators for us.  We, the rabble, who no longer all go to the Coliseum but rather huddle around a plastic box and celebrate their every move need to pay homage.

Today we honor The Fallen.  The High school boys who we remember and work to support through our Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion Prevention group  Here are just a few of the fallen we ask you to remember and we ask that you pray for them and their family and friends who are without them today.


Ridge Barden; 16-year-old lineman from John C. Birdlebough High School in Phoenix, New York

Ridge went down in a game from a blow to the head on October 14th, 2011 and died shortly thereafter.  He leaves behind his family and friends and even though his helmet was reconditioned he passed away after taking the blow.

He will always be remembered as a powerhouse linemen and a gentle giant.

Rest in Peace Big Guy.  We know your with your family today in Spirit.




Nathan Stiles, a Kansas high school star Senior running back, linebacker and homecoming king. Oct 29, 2010

Nathan died  after he was taken to the hospital for an injury sustained during a game in Osawatomie, Kansas.

Stiles reportedly intercepted a pass, walked to the sidelines and collapsed shortly after the play, according to NBC Action News. He was pronounced dead on Friday, at approximately 4 a.m., hours after arriving at University of Kansas hospital in Kansas City by helicopter. He was a 4.0 student at Spring Hill High School.  His family through their Church have established The Nathan Project and are doing great work on behalf of their son.

Connie and Ron We are Thinking Of You Today!



Andrew “Drew” Swank; Valley Christian High School Spokane, Washington

On September 25th, 2009 while on a road game Drew took several blows trying to help his team.  One would prove fatal and caused his already bleeding brain to flow out of control.

This second impact killed him.  Drew leaves behind an amazing family and community and left us way to soon.  His family are amongst our supporters at and he is the #15 of our Team 7:15 Concussion Prevention Game plan.

Swank Family WE LOVE ALL OF YOU!



Quadaar White,  August 30th, 2010, Philadelphia, Pa

No one could ever keep up with Quadaar White – not on the football field, not in life.

Between the hash marks, the 15-year-old was known by teammates on Upper Darby’s Greater 69th Street Wildcats as “Little Sanders,” a lightning quick running back who reminded everyone of former NFL great Barry Sanders.

Quadaar died of head and neck trauma that he suffered from a tackle he made during a routine practice.  He will be remembered by his family and friends forever and ever.



Matthew Gfeller, Winston-Salem Reynolds.

On August 22, 2008 Matthew suffered a severe helmet to helmet collision during his first varsity football game.  It was in the fourth quarter of the game when he was playing right inside linebacker.  Tragically, the accident caused a fatal traumatic brain injury.  Matthew never regained consciousness and died two days later on Sunday, August 24, 2008.

His family has founded the Matthew Gfeller Foundation which is doing great work in this area.   Matthew God Bless you and your entire Family today.





Dylan Steiger, Missoula, Montana; EOU

Dylan was preparing to play football at Eastern Oregon University and had recently transferred from University of Montana.

He took a blow to the head in practice Saturday May 8th, 2010.

He was transported to Grand Ronde Hospital and later flown to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, school officials said. Doctors said he suffered an acute subdural hematoma as a result of the head injury.  The injury led to his death on Sunday May 9th.  He left behind his fiance Liz Apostol and their baby daughter London.   His mother Cyndi and Father Tom have set up a concussion management program in Missoula.  He will always be remembered.

 The Steigers and Apostol Families have been great supporters for the cause of making Football Safer.  And you will never meet more dynamic and wonderful people.  We love all you guys and wish you Peace on this day of days.


Jaquan Walker, 9-24-2008; Greenville-Rose High

The Junior Running Back for the Greeville Rose High School team was playing hurt in September of 2008.  He went down in the game never to get up.  Another confirmed victim of Second Impact Syndrome.

In a statement, Dr. M.G.F. Gilliland said Jaquan Waller died because of a “very rare condition which can occur when two relatively minor head injuries occur in a short time interval. It usually occurs in young athletes and is very rapidly fatal.”

RIP Jaquan.  God Bless Your Family and friends today.





DeShawn Smith, Renton, Washington; 2004

One Saturday night in 2004, during a typically raucous season-opening football game at Foster High School, DeShawn Smith, a sophomore running back at Tyee High, gathered a pass, turned up-field, and was hit helmet-to-helmet by an opposing player. He staggered to his feet, walked to the sideline, sat down and collapsed.

He died three days later of acute subdural hematoma, or blood that accumulated between the brain and its outer lining, caused by a ruptured blood vessel.

We have tried and tried to get information about his family and where we can contact them for support.  The Tyee staff has not been willing to help us.  Very sad.  If anyone knows the whereabouts of his Family please ask them to contact us at 503-799-8383.

RIP DeShawn Smith- and God Bless your Family!


Jake Snakenberg, 9-18-2004  

The day was Sept. 18, 2004, a Saturday. Jake Snakenberg, a freshman football player at Grandview, Colorado had been injured in a game the week before but assured his mom he was ready to play that day.

Like in so many cases before he was not ready and there is no way anyone could have known for sure.  He went down in the game and would never get up.  A wonderful young 14 year old boy lost his life that day.  His mother and family work hard now to make sure that does not happen again.

We wish Kelli Jantz, his Mom, and his family and friends some peace today and Big Jake you are remembered!






Deantre Turman died this season, 2013, and we honor him.
Deantre Turman died this season, 2013, and we honor him.

   De’antre Turman- RIP 2013

A 16-year-old football player who reportedly had received a scholarship to play at the University of Kentucky died after breaking his neck in what was described as a routine tackle during a scrimmage game.

De’Antre Turman, of Creekside High School in Union City, Ga., was playing in a scrimmage game on Friday when he tackled another player. Onlookers said immediately after the tackle Turman went limp. Two paramedics on the field immediately responded, but Turman reportedly wasn’t breathing.

Although an ambulance was immediately called, it did not arrive for 15 minutes according to bystanders.

We wish his family Peace on Thanksgiving!

Damon Janes – RIP 2013

In 2013 we lost Damon Jaynes to the game.
In 2013 we lost Damon Jaynes to the game.

 Damon Janes, running back for Brocton-Westfield, died in Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, three days after suffering an apparent brain seizure and losing consciousness in the third quarter of a game at Portville HS.

The teen’s tragic death on September 13, has thrown football and the dangers surrounding it back into the spotlight.

Damon we will be thinking of you and your wonderful family and friends today!







Charles Youvella- Hopi HS – RIP 2013  

Charles Youvella died from a Traumatic Brain Injury while trying to help his team who was loosing 60-6.
Charles Youvella died from a Traumatic Brain Injury while trying to help his team who was loosing 60-6.

A high school football player in Arizona died from an injury suffered in the fourth quarter of a blowout playoff game loss, serving as another tragic reminder of the dangers of head trauma in youth sports.

Hopi High School senior Charles Youvella died of a traumatic brain injury Monday at a hospital, the Arizona Interscholastic Association said. He was injured Saturday in Hopi’s 60-6 loss to Arizona Lutheran in a first-round playoff game. Youvella scored his team’s only touchdown in the game.

The death attracted national attention after Arizona Cardinals star wide receiver tweeted a picture of Youvella and asked people to pray for the teen’s family, friends and teammates.

We will be thinking of Charles and his wonderful family this year down in Arizona.  RIP Warrior.




Dylan Jeffries- RIP 2013

South Harrison High School football player Dylan Jeffries passed away Sunday night, according to a Facebook page created to update the community on his condition.

Jeffries was injured during a football game Friday, Sept. 27 and rushed to Ruby Memorial Hospital with a blood clot on his brain. He was placed under a medically induced coma a few days later.

Dylan Jeffries passed in 2013 too from a blood clot in his brain making 2013 one of the deadliest years on record.
Dylan Jeffries passed in 2013 too from a blood clot in his brain making 2013 one of the deadliest years on record.

The post on the “Dylan Jeffries Update” page reads: “Dylan has fought very hard through this past week, but today his battle is over.”

It goes on to say: “Today we ask that you not remember Dylan for this tragedy, but for the amazing person he was.”

Dylan was injured while playing against Lincoln High School, and the post author, Mileena Beatty, also wrote to comfort their players.

Dylan we are all thinking about you and your family this year and give thanks for all we are so fortunate to have.  May they have some comfort and Peace today.





Chad Stover- RIP 2013

Chad Stover, 17, of Tipton, MO. suffered a severe head injury during an Oct. 31 game in Sedalia. Stover had been hospitalized at University Hospital in Columbia since the injury.  Tipton High School officials said the incident happened during a game against Sacred Heart. Stover collapsed after a hit with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. The game was called off following the injury. The Tipton R-VI Schools superintendent said Stover had a severe brain injury.

Chad Stover was a beloved friend and team mate.  Now he is gone.
Chad Stover was a beloved friend and team mate. Now he is gone.

After his injury, Stover’s family and friends, as well as surrounding communities, showed support through a #PrayforChad social media movement and by wearing red ribbons.










Now that you have read this please help.

If we don’t fix this broken game we will lose it.  It is simple as that.  Once the lawyers move in, and they have, it is a new ball game.  Schools and Coaches are in the gun sights and in many cases they are going to be found negligent.  Can we get it perfect?  No.  Can we fix 90% of the problems?  For sure we can.

If your ready to help just reach out to us at

You can also help us by giving to our new Build The Bus Project right here. This rolling Educational Vehicle will make stops at  gyms and fields in towns all over the Pacific Northwest.  Please do what you can to help and get involved.

Now back to your feast and your game!  That is exactly what we will all be doing too!  And say a special prayer for the boys still playing- both big and small- and these fallen warriors and their families.


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