Teen Dies of Football Brain Injury

Ridge Barden collapses on field during NY game
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2011 2:16 AM CDT
Updated Oct 17, 2011 3:00 AM CDT
Teen Dies of Football Brain Injury
Ridge Barden is shown. Barden, a 16-year-old lineman from John C. Birdlebough High School in Phoenix, NY, died after he was hit during a high school football game.   (AP Photo/Barden Family)

(Newser) – A 16-year-old New York high school athlete collapsed during a football game with a head injury and died hours later from bleeding in the brain. Linesman Ridge Barden passed out after a "blunt-force trauma" collision during the third quarter of a game in Homer. "I don't think anyone could have ever, ever seen this coming," said the head of high school football in the region. "It's just very sad that something like this does happen. Accidents do happen." But the tragedy has underscored growing concerns about head trauma and football, particularly for young players, notes ABC News. A new law in New York now requires "concussion management teams" of sports staff and health professionals in every school district to monitor programs.

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Barden's mom said her 230-pound son, known as a beast on the football circuit, did everything with "full gusto." He "would not want those people to think that it was their fault. It was just an accident," she told WSYR-TV. His dad said: "My world has been devastated. It will go down as the worst day of my life. I don't know what I'm going to do without you, Ridge." (Read more Ridge Barden stories.)

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