TIPTON, Mo. (AP) – Schools in central Missouri are rallying around a high school football player who has been hospitalized with a brain injury since a playoff game last week.

Chad Stover, a junior at Tipton High School, was injured during the game Oct. 31 and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. He remained in critical condition Friday, Tipton School District Superintendent Scott Jarvis said Friday.

Jarvis said that Stover’s injury was “very serious” but that he could not provide other details.

Residents in Tipton, a town of about 3,200 residents, have covered the town in red ribbons in honor of Stover. The ribbons, red for the school’s color, have also been spreading on social media and to the nearby town of California, where the high school there has also hung red ribbons and put Stover’s No. 18 on their field.

“The compassion and the thoughtfulness we’re getting from all over the country is pretty much unbelievable. … It’s just overwhelming,” Jarvis said. “Schools in the area are wearing red. Teams have got the number 18 on their helmets.”

Friday is Stover’s 17th birthday, Jarvis said.

Sacred Heart in Sedalia also came to a recent prayer vigil, and the Father Tolton Catholic High School in Columbia sent the Tipton school a card and also held a Mass for the Stovers.

“We want them to know they’re in our hearts and prayers,” Bob Staton, California High School’s athletic director, told KMIZ.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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