WAKEFIELD — A 16-year-old football player at Northeast Metro Tech High School is recovering from a serious injury suffered during a junior varsity game on Saturday, school officials said.
Superintendent David DiBarri confirmed Saturday evening that “the boy is alive and recovering.” The teenager, who is a junior, was knocked unconscious after a collision during a game against Saugus High School, DiBarri said.
“It was not a direct head-to-head injury,” DiBarri said at an afternoon press conference at the school, video of which was posted to the WHDH-TV Facebook page. “Obviously, at some point, his head must have had some impact.
“But at this point, we’re not completely sure,” DiBarri said. “We’re trying to speak to other coaches in play and gather up some more information.”
The teen was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital. His condition was not known Saturday night.
The 10:30 a.m. game was suspended following the injury.
“Our thoughts and support are with our injured student-athlete, his family, friends, classmates and teammates during this difficult time and we are closely monitoring the situation,” DiBarri said in a statement issued before the press conference.
Wakefield fire responded to a report of an unconscious boy on the school’s football field at 10:30 a.m., according to the statement.
“At this time, the entire Wakefield community, police, fire, and Cataldo Ambulance, our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Northeast regional student body, the football team, and the administration,” Deputy Fire Chief Tom Purcell said at the news conference.
At the school late Saturday afternoon, a coach and a player declined to comment on the player or his condition. The grass field where the game was played just hours earlier was locked up.
Around 7 p.m., some students and players returned to the field, which was reopened for them. A school official, who asked for privacy for the students, said they were worried about their teammate and wanted to be together.
The regional high school, which serves 12 communities north of Boston, is preparing to offer counseling to students, officials said.
Guidance and counseling staff will be made available to provide emotional support services to the football team and other students, DiBarri said.
The Saugus High athletic department tweeted its support for its friendly rival and neighboring high school.
“Sachem Nation’s thoughts and prayers go out to our Northeast Metro Tech . . . especially the family, teammates and friends of their injured football player,” the tweet said. “We stand by you in support.”
Correspondent Sofia Saric contributed to this story.