Arizona High School Football Player Dies From Brain Injury

November 12, 2013

An Arizona high school football player has died from injuries suffered in a Saturday playoff game.

Hopi High School senior Charles Youvella, who had scored the his team’s only touchdown in a 60-6 first round Division 5 playoff loss to Arizona Lutheran, died Monday night at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Youvella, was injured on a tackle later in the fourth quarter of the game, hitting the back of his head on the ground. He took part in two more plays, before collapsing and being taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association said it is ‘deeply saddened’ by Youvella’s death. It said the teen suffered a traumatic brain injury and died with his family at his side.

"Football is a violent game. There was no inappropriate conduct.There was no foul play, no hit that would have caused this," said Chuck Schmidt of the AIA.

Schmidt said as far as is known, “everyone acted appropriately.”

Hopi High School is in Kearns Canyon, on the Hopi Indian Reservation in northeastern Arizona.