Football player dies after collapse

August 27, 2008 2:43:53 PM PDT
A junior at Cliffside Park High School who collapsed during football practice last week died Tuesday night, police confirmed Wednesday morning. Officials say 17-year-old Douglas Morales reportedly sustained an injury during practice Friday at the high school and collapsed.

The running back was tackled during practice, and the mayor says the hit was so hard to the upper chest area that it ruptured a vessel that went to Morales' brain.

He was taken to Holy Name Hospital and then transferred in a coma to Hackensack University Hospital, where he remained on life support until Tuesday.

The medical examiner reported Morales died from a subdural hematoma, but it is unclear if that is from a pre-existing condition or the blow he took on the field.

Funeral services will be held Friday at 7 p.m.

Cliffside Park superintendent Michael Romagnino released the following statement:

"On behalf of the Cliffside Park Board of Education, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Douglas Morales. Douglas, who passed away, was a junior at Cliffside Park High School.

"I am confident that, as we have in the past, we will be very supportive of one another during this very difficult time for the family and school community."

Morales' death came only a day after a Waldwick boy died during football practice on his 13th birthday.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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