Doctors: Haynes will never play football again
A Roane County High School football player is recovering at the hospital.
(WBIR-Kingston) A Kingston High School football player is recovering at the hospital.
Seth Haynes underwent surgery on Saturday after breaking his neck during Friday night's game against Sequoyah.
Kingston Yellowjacket Head Coach Brian Pankey said the sophomore broke his neck during the opening drive.
"It was on kickoff. He was going for a tackle, the kid was about to go down and Seth, when he led on his shoulder, it looked like it hurt him and he went to the ground and hit his head... He just laid there," described Haynes' teammate, Dustin Kitts.
At first, the team and doctors thought he pinched a nerve. When doctors took him to UT Medical Center, Pankey says they discovered Haynes broke his neck and shattered his number three vertebrae.
"This was his first game back after a hiatus from a knee injury and so for him to put it all out there and then to be laying there when the play was over, for all of us, was very devastating," Mae Ann Shillings said, a friend of the family and Haynes 'former teacher.
Pankey said Haynes was able to move his fingers and toes after the injury.
"I talked to him last night at the hospital and he said he felt like he was paralyzed," said Paul Bolden, Haynes' teammate and best friend.
Doctors told Haynes he will never be able to play football again.
Bolden went on to say, "He's always liked sports growing up. When he heard he wouldn't be able to play sports anymore, it kind of hurt him because he's always loved football."
"I think what's most important is that he's just okay. We all love football, we all love to play sports, but the big thing is that he's just okay," said Jamey Davis, who has known Haynes since he was a child.
Former teammates are sending well wishes to Haynes, including Ryan Wormsley who said, "When I was there we were all extremely close. It's a big family. I knew Seth and you couldn't tell who was a senior and who was a sophomore. We were all brothers."
A Facebook group, in support of Haynes, is growing in the hundreds each hour.