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Community rallies for N. Schuylkill football player

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Published October 28. 2019 09:32AM

When North Schuylkill football player Jaden Leiby was injured Friday evening making a tackle on a Pottsville receiver in Spartan Stadium, it was unlike most injuries.

The senior safety had taken a blow to his head, causing immediate concern as professional medical personnel worked to comfort Leiby on the field. Leiby had lost sensation in the lower portion of his body.

He was removed to a life-flight area at the Ashland Little League Field before being flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital. In the wee hours of Saturday morning he underwent surgery.

Wally Hall, Leiby’s head football coach at North Schuylkill was hoping for his player to recover after the early Saturday morning surgery.

“After (Jaden) was hurt I just went into a fog and don’t remember the remainder of the game,” said Hall Sunday morning. Hall left the team immediately after the game and drove to Lehigh Valley Hospital, where he stayed right through the night before returning to his residence in Frackville after 6 a.m.

“I just started to say prayers, and more prayers,” Hall said. “After the surgery I came home took a shower, and went back until 10 p.m. Saturday.

Hall said most of Leiby’s teammates were at the hospital and stayed all of Saturday.

“People don’t know what type of young man he really, really is. I’m blessed to have coached him. Just keep saying prayers — they work. Please tell everyone to keep praying.”

Hall said the Spartan football program and the Leiby family have been overwhelmed with the support they have received from the community. He mentioned thoughts and prayers coming in from area schools, opposing coaches and players, and even officials with the National Football League.

“Prayersfor#6” in honor of Leiby’s uniform number is trending on social media, with many people sharing updates.

Students throughout the league are planning fundraisers to help the Leiby family. A bake sale will be held at Minersville junior high and junior varsity football games. Williams Valley students are also accepting donations at the playoff game Friday against Shenandoah Valley School District.

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