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Sixteen-year-old Chad Stover died playing a game after suffering a traumatic brain injury. Is the game worth it?
It was halloween night, and the Tipton Cardinals needed a tackle. With the team trailing Sacred Heart 27-18 in the opening round of the Missouri high school playoffs, a stop here—on first down and 10 with less than seven minutes to play— would help keep its fading season alive.
As the running back took the handoff and sprinted right, Tipton’s Chad Stover, a 16-year-old defensive back, dived at the player’s legs with his arms outstretched. Chad’s head collided with the runner’s right thigh as the ballcarrier dodged the tackle to gain another few yards. Chad went down, and his helmet smacked into the ground. “Was it a crazy-hard hit?” asks Ben Smeltzer, a Sacred Heart wide…