Tue September 24, 2013
Westfied-Brocton cancels rest of football season
The Westfied-Brocton football program has canceled the remainder of its varsity football season in the aftermath of a player's death from injuries suffered during a game.
The Westfield Board of Education unanimously voted Monday night approving the cancelation of the Westfield-Brocton team's remaining games because of the death earlier this month of 16-year-old Damon Janes.
The junior running back from Brocton lost consciousness after a helmet-to-helmet hit during a game Sept. 13. He died three days later at a Buffalo hospital.
Westfield school Superintendent David Davison tells WBFO News he recommended canceling the rest of the season after speaking with players who said they didn't want to continue playing this year.
Westfield and Brocton, neighboring school districts in Chautauqua County, have a combined football program.
"It was a difficult decision, but ultimately the right choice," said David Davison, schools superintendent for the Westfield School District. "Our players need time to grive, process and heal."
During a meeting with the football players Monday, prior to the board vote, they shared creative ways to continue to honor Janes through the athletic programs and school communities.
"And we wanted those to be student driven efforts. Because I think that would allow Damon's friends and teammates to continue the healing process off the playing field," said Davison.
The District has notified the state's Section VIabout it's decision to end the season now. Both Brocton and Westfield are continuing to offer counseling to students to assist with the grieving process.
The following is the statement issued on the Westfield Central School District Website regarding Varsity Football:
"The Westfield Academy and Central School Board of Education unanimously approved a recommendation by the superintendent to cancel the remaining 2013 Varsity Football season during their September 23, 2013 meeting.
The pending motion was shared with players from both teams at a team meeting on Monday. During the meeting, players shared creative and positive ways to honor Damon Janes through our athletic programs and school communities for the remainder of the year and into the future. This will be a student driven effort and allow Damon’s friends and teammates to continue the grieving process off of the playing field.
Both Brocton and Westfield continue to offer support to students and players through district counseling departments. For parents and family members in need of assistance, grief counseling is available through several agencies and local churches.
Section VI has been notified of District’s decision to not complete the season."