ROANE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The Kingston Yellow Jackets finished their first practice Monday night without Seth Haynes.
The sophomore broke his neck playing in a game on Friday.
Head Coach Brian Pankey tells Local 8 News, the team has been in and out of UT Medical Center all weekend, offering support to their teammate who has a very long road ahead.
The accident happened in the first play of the game, Seth went for the tackle and after the hit immediately collapsed to the ground.
"I asked him if he was okay and he didn't respond," says Coach Pankey, "and then our trainer came out and he was able to respond with hand squeezes."
"When he dove in we thought he just got a stinger," says his teammate Daniel who originally thought it was a pinched nerve.
After the game the team would find out Seth broke his neck, and the 15-year-old would learn his football career was over.
"I think he's been playing football since he was about 5 years old and he actually just came back from a knee injury just a few weeks ago," says Pankey.
Even though Seth can't play, his teammates say he's still a vital part of this football
"He's the one that likes to joke and have fun," says Daniel.
And his coach says there is always a place for Seth.
"He can come throw the football, run water, whatever he wants as far as I'm concerned he's still a part of this team."
Coach Pankey says Seth went through a five hour surgery over the weekend to repair the
vertebrae in this neck, he's awake and talking but he still has a long recovery time ahead of him.
There will be a community fund drive and walk Tuesday for Seth, students and supporters will meet at the Gravel Pit in Kingston at 10:40 a.m..
Seth Haynes broke his neck during opening kickoff. He was taken to UT Medical Center where he underwent surgery Saturday evening.
Family, friends and team members spent several hours in the waiting room to show their support.
According to Coach Brian Pankey, Haynes won't be able to play football again. He said he was able to move his hands and feet.
Community members created a Facebook page, requesting prayers for Seth: https://www.facebook.com/SethHaynesPrayerHornets.
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