Football teams together

Louisiana High School Football players stand with Clopton Hawks players when the Clopton team arrived at the Bulldogs practice to present a check for funds raised to help an injured Louisiana player. Photo by Stan Schwartz

LOUISIANA—As a sign of goodwill, members of the Clopton Hawks football team arrived at the end of practice for the Louisiana Bulldogs on Thursday to hand over a check for the funds the Clopton team raised to help a young man who had been seriously injured in a traffic collision the week before.

Coach Greg Pitzer said he and the team were really appreciative of the effort the Clopton team made to raise money for one of his players.

 “They responded pretty well,” he said of his team after learning about the accident. “I know that they’re hurting” because of what their teammate was going through, he added.

Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that the vehicle the teenager was driving failed to yield to an RV and was hit by the larger vehicle on its passenger side and knocked off the road. An ambulance transported the boy to the local hospital in Louisiana where he was then transferred to a helicopter and flown to a hospital in St. Louis.

Pitzer said he’s tried to get more information on his player’s health status. He received his first update in more than a week recently. He said the boy is doing better but he still has a long way to go.

Pitzer said it’s difficult for him, the other coaches and the team members because they are not allowed to visit at the hospital because of COVID-19 restrictions. He learned the extent of the injuries the boy sustained during the collision. The list was extensive. When he first arrived at Pike County Memorial Hospital before the transfer, Pitzer learned that the boy might not make it.

“But he’s a fighter,” Pitzer said, and he’s responding well to treatment.

“That’s awesome what you guys did for him,” assistant coach Matt Smith said to the Clopton players. “They (the Bulldogs) may not show it, but they appreciate it and their parents appreciate it. We just can’t thank you enough.”

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