On Saturday, David Coleman Jr. died after receiving a blindside hit in a charity football game which saw the proceeds go towards ALS research. Mr. Coleman received what was reported as a hit to the chest on a kickoff return. He was transported to a local hospital after the hit and was pronounced dead due to a spinal injury. Mr. Coleman, 32, was a four-year player in the Crossroads Football League (CFL) and was playing for the Jay County Panthers.
The Crossroads Football League issued a press release regarding the passing on Mr. Coleman and announced a fund raising effort for his family. He is survived by a wife and five daughters. Reportedly, Mr. Coleman was unemployed at the time of his death.
From the official press release of the CFL-
Yesterday, May 12th, #58 Dave Coleman Jr from the Jay County Panthers lost his life playing the game he loved. Our thoughts and prayers go out not only to his wife, daughters, family and friends, but to his teammates and those in attendance of the game. Each player understands the risk you accept each time you step onto the field of play, and it is the same in any sport, but its events such as the one yesterday that really drive home those risks. David was legally hit on a punt return by a player on the opposing team. He fell to the ground and did not move. Paramedics were called immediately and took David to the hospital where he was pronounced dead due to spinal injury
The pre-season game that the Panther participated in was not a league sanctioned event, or officiated by our league referees. I can assure you that in the coming weeks before our kickoff weekend June 16th, player safety will be emphasized from the top down. This includes owners and coaching staffs of each team in the league, as well as each of the referees officiating our games this season. It will never be possible to cease all risk involved in the game of football, but our job is to remind our players of these risks and steps to reduce them. At the end of the day, we are all adults, with lives outside of football, that are paying for the opportunity to play the sport that we all love, and then return to our family and friends in good health.
The devastation and grief has been tough for the Panthers as they lost a 4 year veteran member of their squad, as well has his brother who was on the field at the same time as David. They could not have lost a better man who said earlier that day his two loves in life were his family and football. Within such a short time condolences and support has poured in from individuals, teams, and leagues across the nation, each with the same message, “we lost a family member today”. I have been overwhelmed with the response and been left speechless.
June 16th is now the Dave Coleman Jr Kickoff Weekend for the CRFL. We will be asking each team in the Crossroads Football League to take donations for his family to help in their time of need. Also at the 2 minute warning in the 4th quarter, 58 minutes into the game, we will be holding a moment of silence for #58. The CRFL will also be providing all of our players in the league with a helmet sticker in Panthers colors for David. A small token to honor his everlasting commitment to his team, and his sport; and provide each and every player a reminder that we play this game to have fun and to be able to return home to our families and friends.
On Behalf of all the owners, coaches, and players of the Crossroads Football League, I extend our prayers and condolences to the Panthers Organization, the Northwest Ohio Knights Organization, and the friends and family of #58 Dave Coleman Jr.
Crossroads Football League
The CFL is a league which plays semi-pro football games in Indiana and Ohio. They currently have contact information on their Facebook page in regards to the submission of donations to the Coleman family.
Filed under: Arena/Adult Amateur Football