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Florida high school football team wears helmet decals as tribute to player left paralyzed after game injury

Posted at 6:16 PM, Oct 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-22 18:16:07-04

HOMESTEAD, Florida (WSVN) — A South Florida high school football team paid tribute to one of their players as he continues to grapple with a devastating injury.

There are rivalries in the world of high school athletics, but there is also basic love for the sport … and for a player who strongly still needs the community’s support.

Friday night lights lit up the field at Homestead Senior High School, but one of the Broncos’ players, Frederick Climpson, was missing.

“The small tokens all around, trying to make sure that Frederick knows he has love and support from Bronco Nation and other schools as well,” said Curtis Brown, director of athletics at Homestead Senior High School.

Broncos players sported a heart-shaped decal on their helmets with the letters FC as a tribute to Climpson.

“We just received our decals with ‘Frederick Climpson,’ number 4, and of course, the Bronco,” said Brown. “It’s encompassed with love, because we love Frederick, and even though he’s not with us tonight and hasn’t been with us this season, we’re still playing for him.”

The teen has been hospitalized since mid-September, when he suffered a serious injury during a game. The student athlete broke his neck and hurt his spine.

Climpson’s grandfather said he has slowly been getting better. He’s starting to eat, breathe on his own for a few hours and can even talk.

“He’s got this device they put in his trachea, and then he’s able to talk,” said.

When asked his reaction upon hearing his grandson speak for the first time since his injury, Climpson’s grandfather replied, “You have to appreciate life, you know? You never know what life’s going to deal you, but you have to appreciate it.”

And what’s been extra special for Climpson’s family is everyone who has rallied behind them through this ordeal and who continue to do so.

“I need the prayer warriors to get out and start praying, you know, send out your prayers,” said Climpson’s grandfather. “That’s what we greatly need.”

Before Friday’s game, a football alumni association from another school gave Climpson’s family a donation of money they have raised to help with his recovery.