NewsLocal News

Actions

Player back in class after heart-stopping moment during Friday's football game

Posted: 10:21 AM, Sep 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-18 12:43:29-04

The football player's injury canceled a high school football game, but it didn't cancel his spirits.

FOX 47's Alani Letang talked with a local coach about a heart-stopping moment on the field.

It was a scary moment for everyone.

"He was just in the wrong spot at the wrong time," said Jeff Finney, Charlotte High School head football coach.

It was a typical Friday night football game for Charlotte's senior linebacker Ryan Jester until he collided with a Portland High School football player, didn't get back up and was taken to a hospital.

"These kids, we love them like our own, so to see him laying there and not much I can do about it, I took it hard," said Finney.

The game was halfway into the second quarter when Finney said Ryan was trying to make a tackle and collided with the Portland player.

"It's a scary moment for any coach that's lived through anything like that," said Finney.

Finney thanks all the medical professionals that rushed to Ryan's side to help him. And he says appreciates the support he has gotten from other coaches.

Ryan was taken in an ambulance to a Lansing hospital. The game was put on a suspension, something that doesn't normally happen.

"Our kids head not all of them were in it, I didn't feel it was the best move to put them back out on the field and so I made that decision with love and player safety in mind," Finney said.

Finney told Letang that Ryan has been playing football since he was in fourth grade, and that he has been coaching him for the past four years in high school.

Ryan's injury kept him down only on the field.

"When I saw him Friday night, he made me feel a lot better. He was the same kid I know. He made me smile, he was laughing, just an outstanding kid and an outstanding football player," Finney said.

And as they head into practice Monday, Finney said: "It's gonna be tough for them to come back but the thing about high school sports is they have each other's backs."

Ryan is back in school, but it's unknown when he will be cleared to return to football.

Finney told FOX 47 the game will not be re-scheduled and will go down as a win for Portland. They were up 27 to nothing when the injury happened.