Home / News / Local / Player mocked, forced to play by coaches had broken neck
Lorenzo Hughes surrounded by family and nursing staff.

Player mocked, forced to play by coaches had broken neck

Center High School football coaches may come under scrutiny for having a player suit up after he complained of neck injuries.

Junior Lorenzo Hughes, who says the coaches actually mocked him for complaining about pain, was later diagnosed with a broken neck.

Hughes is still being treated at Children’s Mercy Hospital where he received emergency surgery.

Hughes says he was in Center’s Preseason Jamboree game in early August.

Speaking about a tackle on the field, Hughes recounts, “When I hit him, his leg went into the back of my neck,” he said.

Hughes left the field but says he knew that something wasn’t right. The next day and in pain, he made it back to the school to watch.

“I felt like something was wrong with my neck, but I felt it everywhere,” he said.

He says he first response was to see a chiropractor, but said his coaches still asked him to suit up for practice on Tuesday and take part in several drills.

He accuses the coaches of mocking him for complaining about his pain.

“We had a game Saturday and I didn’t want to miss the game,” he said.

Doctors later determined he had a compression fracture.

School officials have been mum on the actions of the coaches and if they broke school policy concerning injured players.

In a statement issued by the school, they only said that their thoughts are with Hughes and his family.

“Center School District provides an on-site licensed athletic trainer for every football practice and scheduled game,” the statement said. “We are looking at the situation and want to know what happened.”