Carthage community honors J-V football player who died from head injury

Local News

CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s been a tough week full of shock and sorrow over the loss of 14-year-old Tyler Christman, a Carthage Junior-Varsity football player.

On Saturday, Christman suffered a serious head injury in his team’s away game at West Genesee High School. He was taken to Upstate University hospital and died there Tuesday afternoon.

The Carthage Central School District announced it has cancelled both the Varsity and Junior-Varsity football games against Indian River this week, as the community is still in mourning the loss of Tyler.

Assistant Fire Chief Cole Pacella has lived in Carthage his whole life. Throughout the years, he’s seen his community step up for anyone in a time of tragedy.

“When something like this happens to somebody local, you can almost bet you’ve been in the same room with them at one point or another.”

Cole pacella, assistant fire chief, carthage fire department

Pacella didn’t know Tyler Christman personally, but knew his department had to show their support for the 14-year-old who tragically lost his life.

Outside of the Carthage Firehouse, a sign that reads “Tyler strong, Comet pride.”

It’s the littlest thing we can do. Our profession is to help people, to be there for people, and sometimes it’s a little more of an invasive role. With something like, it’s more of a behind the scenes thing…Just any little gesture that we can do.

Cole Pacella, Assistant Fire Chief, Carthage Fire Department

Carthage Fire Department, South James Street, Carthage

Just a short drive across the village, Caskinette Ford moved five of its red vehicles to the front of the dealership as another sign of support.

“Most people here are Carthage Comets, everyone’s alumni. It’s a small community but we’re very tight. You might be able to throw a rock over us, but you’ll never throw it through us.”

joe archer, sales and leasing, caskinette road, carthage

Outside of Carthage Central High School, there’s a sign with Tyler’s photo, his number 12 and a message from the district thanking those near and far for their outpouring love and support.

As small of a community as Carthage is, neighbors said they will always come together for each other in times of tragedy.

With the times we’re in now, it shows that there’s always going to be negativity in the world, but there are certain events of these tragedies like this that all that other little stuff doesn’t matter anymore. Everybody comes together and puts their attention to where it should be focused, which is coming together and being the small community that we are.

Cole Pacella, Assistant Fire Chief, Carthage Fire Department

The Carthage Central School superintendent, school board president, athletic director and football coach sent the following statements to NewsChannel 9 on Tyler’s passing…

Statement from Superintendent Jennifer Premo:

“The Carthage Central School District is deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of freshman student athlete Tyler Christman.  Tyler was an outstanding student who was highly involved in the school community.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.  We will continue to provide counseling support and services for our staff and students in the days and weeks ahead.  Resources for families, students, and staff are posted on the District website.”

Statement from School Board President Garry Schwartz:

“On behalf of the Carthage Central School District Board of Education our sincere thoughts and prayers go to the Christman family for their tragic loss of Tyler. Our thoughts and prayers are also with our District coaches, students, and staff. This has saddened the entire community and beyond. We pray for peace and comfort for all.”

Joint Statement from Athletic Director Jason Brown & Football Coach Jason Coffman:

“Tyler was an amazing young athlete and participated on many of our athletic teams at Carthage Central. His ability to be an outstanding teammate and his infectious personality will be greatly missed by all that knew him.  Words cannot describe how heartbroken we all are for the entire Christman family. Tyler, and all of the Chrstman’s have been a very big part of the Carthage Football family for years.  Our sincerest condolences go out to their entire family.”

A small community coming together in a big way to honor and remember the life of Tyler Christman.

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