Thursday night’s Foothill League matchup between West Ranch and Saugus was called early after an injury led to the hospitalization of Centurion freshman Jayden Lepley.
Lepley took a shoulder to the head in the fourth quarter, knocking the freshman down. The wide receiver remained on the ground for nearly 15 minutes before paramedics arrived at Valencia High School.
Athletic trainers from both schools quickly worked on Lepley, running tests to assess the severity of his injury. Lepley was responsive, conscious and able to move during these tests, but remained on the ground for precautionary reasons.
The game was called about 10 minutes after the initial contact, as both coaches were more concerned for their players’ safety than the game. At the time, less than five minutes remained on the game clock. West Ranch, up by a score of 28-0 at the time the game was called, was declared the winner.
West Ranch athletic trainer Kyle Payne was one of several trainers assisting Lepley. Payne and staff from both schools worked on the football player until paramedics arrived and stretchered him off of the field.
Payne is optimistic Lepley will be OK, but wanted to move him as safely as possible. The training staff decided after about five minutes of assessments to call paramedics.
“We’re optimistic he’s OK but you never know … because we can’t see in there,” Payne said. “But overall with the level of consciousness he was at and the physical level he was at, it should be a speedy recovery.”
“We wanted to make sure when we moved him, we moved him safely.”
Lepley left the field on a stretcher fully conscious.
It was a somber night at Valencia, as the life of slain Palmdale sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer was honored before the game.
The freshman totaled six catches for 69 yards, including a huge 37-yard gain, before the injury.
A moment of silence was held for Clinkunbroomer, a 2010 West Ranch alumnus, after school Principal Robert Fisher said a few words about the fallen deputy.
Clinkunbroomer was remembered as a joy in the classroom and someone who was always willing to go the extra mile.
The deputy was killed in an ambush attack by a shooter while Clinkunbroomer was in his police cruiser on Saturday night in Palmdale.