Parents speak out after son dies from injury during New Jersey high school football game

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Parents speak out after son dies from high school football injury
The parents of a New Jersey high school football player who died weeks after he was injured in a game questioned how their son's injury was handled. Anthony Johnson has more.

LINDEN, New Jersey (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 life back together, and I just hope this don't happen to no other kids playing ball," Norm McClain said.

"I'm hurting. I lost my boy. I Iove my son," Lisa McClain said. "He's so loved. He's got a lot 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.

ALSO READ | '2 Milligrams: Fatal Dose': The crisis of fentanyl, America's hidden killer

In '2 Milligrams: Fatal Dose', Eyewitness News 7 On Your Side Investigative reporter, Dan Krauth, got unprecedented access to show you the tools your family can use to help save the lives of loved ones.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a News Tip