CHICAGO — Officials announced that Bogan High School senior Andre Smith, who reportedly collapsed after a football game Thursday, died due to "blunt force head injuries" suffered during the game.
Andre, 17, of southwest suburban Country Club Hills, was brought to Advocate Christ Medical Center after collapsing shortly after Thursday's game. The teen died early Friday morning, according to authorities.
Autopsy results released Saturday confirm the teen died due to football-related injuries.
Andre is the seventh high school football player in the country to die of football-related injuries this year, according to a statement released by the Illinois High School Association. An average of 3.4 American high school students have died every year since 1990 as a result of on-field injuries, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research.
This is the first time since 2012 that a IHSA football player has died due to football-related injuries, when a Hall High School from Spring Valley perished from his injuries, IHSA said.
"As anyone who has participated in athletics knows, there is a risk of injury any time a player steps on the field of play," Matt Troha, assistant executive director of the IHSA, said in a statement. "Football, in particular, has been under the microscope over the last decade, and organizations at all levels of play, including high school, have been taking aggressive steps to try and reduce injury over time."
Troha said the IHSA has implemented stronger contact rules during summer and pre-season periods in an effort to reduce football injuries. These new guidelines, plus better teaching of sound football mechanics, have made "the sport of football to be as safe for participants as it has ever been," he said.
"Andre’s tragic death has transcended Bogan High School and the city of Chicago," Troha said. "High school football programs all across the state are thinking of Andre and the Bengals community tonight."
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