A young Upper Lake High School football player who was injured during a playoff game Friday night was released from the hospital after an overnight stay, his athletic director said Monday.
Russell Gordan, a sophomore wide receiver and safety, was hurt during kickoff coverage in a North Coast Section 8-player division first round game at Tomales.
He was making a tackle when another player landed on him awkwardly, said Upper Lake athletic director Mike Smith.
The game was halted for a half-hour while Gordan remained on the field with pain in his leg and back.
Gordan could move all his limbs, Smith said, but was in significant pain. His father, a coach, accompanied him to a Santa Rosa hospital that night.
Smith said doctors kept Gordan overnight for observation but released him on Saturday.
“He’s doing pretty well,” Smith said Monday. “It looked scarier than it was, but we wanted to be cautious.”
Smith thanked Tomales school officials and first responders for taking their time with Gordan to make sure he was safe and calm.
The incident was particularly frightening for Smith, whose son Kellen remains in a rehabilitation hospital in San Jose after being severely injured in a car crash in August. He suffered a skull fracture and traumatic brain injury when he lost control of his car and struck a wooden fence.
Since the crash, Kellen, 16, has been working to regain physical function and speech. Smith said Kellen has been talking and on Monday, for the first time, used a walker with assistance. He is working with physical and occupational therapists with hope for release later this month.
Kellen’s teammates have rallied around him, visiting him, sending messages and gifts and wearing a decal of No. 5, Kellen’s jersey number, on their helmets this year.
Tomales parents and supporters also showed their encouragement on Friday, before the game, which Tomales won, 44-19.
“A big thank you to Tomales High School and the boosters,” Smith said. “They created a big poster and read a nice statement on Kellen’s behalf before the game. It was touching and well-received by the family.”
You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 707-521-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @loriacarter.