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A fatal head injury claimed the life of a high school football player during a varsity game in central New York, according to school officials. He was only 16.

A lineman on the visiting team from Phoenix Central School District suffered a head injury in a collision in the third quarter of a game with Homer Central High School, south of Syracuse. He was taken to the hospital and later died.

"This is a devastating loss for our community," said Phoenix Central School District Superintendent Judy Belfield in a message on the high school’s website.

The fatal injury comes at a time when the safety risks of youth sports are under intense scrutiny. In fact, in June we wrote about New York lawmakers passing new rules for treating and monitoring student athletes that suffer concussions that was to begin July 1.

A handful of such deaths are reported across the country each year.

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