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Carthage community honors football player who died from head injury

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Carthage community honors football player who died from head injury

CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WSYR) — 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.

The Carthage Central School District announced it has canceled both the varsity and junior varsity football games against Indian River this week, as the community is still mourning the loss of Christman.

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. Pacella didn’t know Christman personally, but knew his department had to show their support for the 14-year-old who tragically lost his life. “When something like this happens to somebody local,” he said, “you can almost bet you’ve been in the same room with them at one point or another.”

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

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,” said Joe Archer with Caskinette Ford. “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.”

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. “Everybody comes together and puts their attention to where it should be focused,” Pacella said.

The Carthage Central School superintendent, school board president, athletic director, and football coach sent the following statements:

“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.”

Superintendent Jennifer Premo

“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.”

Garry Schwartz
School Board President

“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.”

Jason Brown, Athletic Director
Jason Coffman, Football Coach

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