A Templeton High School football player who suffered an apparent head injury Friday in a game against San Luis Obispo remained hospitalized in critical condition Saturday.
Eagles junior Isaac Lindsey was being treated in the intensive care unit at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, hospital spokesman Ron Yukelson said. The family could not be reached Saturday.
Lindsey had surgery Saturday, said Pat Johnston, coach of the San Luis Obispo High School football team, who visited the family at the hospital.
“I just wanted to show our team and our school’s support and let them know we are going to come together as a community,” Johnston said.
He said it wasn’t apparent during the game what caused Lindsey’s injury.
As the Eagles moved down the field on offense during the fourth quarter Friday night, Lindsey, who plays running back, ran to the sideline and called for a substitute. A few minutes later he was on his back surrounded by paramedics and his family, including his brother Louis Lindsey, who also plays for the Eagles.
Johnston said that on Saturday, he and Templeton coach Dan Loney watched a video of the game and agreed it wasn’t a big impact play. Johnston said that as another Templeton player carried the ball, Lindsey was blocking when a San Luis Obispo defender put his forearm into Lindsey’s chest. After the play, Lindsey grabbed his head and ran off the field, Johnston said after reviewing the video.
“It didn’t look like helmet-to-helmet,” Johnston said.
This was the first time since 2011 that a high school football player sustained a severe injury during a local game, according to Tribune archives. In 2011, Oxnard football player. Adrian Padilla was injured in a game against San Luis Obispo High and was able to walk off the field, but later collapsed on the sideline. The injury required emergency brain surgery and three weeks of hospitalization.
When Lindsey collapsed at the sidelines, the crowd in the stadium began to realize the seriousness of his condition.
The stadium fell silent and both teams held their helmets high as Lindsey was taken off the field on a stretcher and into a waiting ambulance to be taken to Sierra Vista hospital.
Johnston was clearly shaken by the incident after the game. Johnston said coaches from Templeton told him Lindsey started having a seizure on the sideline.
"That's really scary stuff," Johnston said Friday night. "Whether it's on your team or your opponent's team you never want to see it and it really affects you in a kind of a personal way. Myself and all the Tigers are thinking about that young man."
"It really hits you hard when you see a guy that's playing football and all of a sudden he's on a stretcher. It's not a good thing to see."
As news of Lindsey’s injury spread Saturday, the community rallied to support him and his family. A GoFundMe page was set up by the mother of one of Lindsey’s teammates to help raise money for medical bills. More than $37,700 in donations was raised by about 9 p.m. Saturday.
The page contains a brief message: "Isaac was injured playing the game he loves, football, with all of his 'brothers.' This sweet, loving young man is currently in the hospital fighting to get better. Please support the family in their time of need as Isaac has quite a road to recovery ahead of him. Hospital bills and time off work can be offset by our help and support."
Tweets and Facebook posts offering prayers have been posted by those in the community and around the country Saturday.
San Luis Obispo wide receiver Vatsal Bhatt tweeted his support Saturday.
“Prayers are with Isaac Lindsey and the entire Templeton team. Wish you a speedy recovery,” wrote Bhatt.
Many shared The Tribune's story about Lindsey on Facebook and posted comments.
"Please pray for this young man and his family....Jenny Lauridsen Lindsey ...the whole town is behind you and your family!!!" wrote Bryan Murphee.
Friday’s injury again sent shockwaves through the local football community.
“That is the biggest fear I have as a football coach,” Arroyo Grande coach Tom Goossen said Saturday. “All I can hope is that he makes a full recovery.”
Paso Robles football coach Rich Schimke said Saturday his team plans to do something to support the Lindsey family.
The Templeton community is holding an event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Templeton Park to rally support for the Lindsey family. The group plans to make banners to hang around the community.
“If any other players would have gone down Isaac’s mom would have been the first person to do this,” said Brandy Blackburn-Herndon, one of the event’s organizers. “We felt it was apropos to do the same thing.”