Three weeks, three communities, three high school football player deaths

On the same day that the high school football community in New Jersey was mourning the death of Warren Hills Regional quarterback Evan Murray, Bartlesville (Okla.) was celebrating the life of Ben Hamm.

The funeral for Hamm, 16, was held Saturday morning. Hamm, a junior from Bartlesville’s Wesleyan Christian School, died Sept. 19 from injuries he suffered in game eight days earlier.

The death of Murray and Hamm follow the death of Franklin Parrish (Winnsboro, La.) player Tyrell Cameron in a Sept. 4 game in Louisiana. Late Friday night, Franklin Parish beat Richwood in overtime, its first victory since Cameron’s death.

According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina, five high school players died last season of causes directly related to football such as head and spine injuries. Seven more high school players died from indirect causes such as heatstroke.

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