SENECA, S.C. (WSPA) – An Upstate high school football player was airlifted Thursday evening during the game for a medical emergency.

The School District of Oconee County said it was a Seneca High School football player who suffered a medical emergency during a JV football game.

Photo Credit: Sandy Bay

“Everybody is sending prayers for him, they said it over the intercom, we did a prayer this morning,” said Lydia Ridge, who is a freshman cheerleader, that was at the game.

“We just want to recognize him and let him know, and the family know, that we’re praying for him, we have him in our thoughts and prayers. We want them to know we’re here to help them if they need anything,” said Steve Hanvey.

“It’s sad, we’re all writing notes to him, making sure he’s good, putting posters up, making sure he’s okay,” said eighth grader, Jeremiah Hunter.

During the JV game, between Seneca and Walhalla, the player was airlifted off the field.

“Our trainers and coaches worked with him. EMS got there promptly, and then they airlifted him from the field at Walhalla to Greenville where he went into surgery,” stated Hanvey.

Steve Hanvey, with the school district, said the student has made a lot of progress in the past 24 hours.

“There was not an event during the game, a hit or anything, that led to the actual episode that he had,” he said. “There was a condition he was dealing with that we were unaware of; everybody was unaware of. It actually brought it to light and the doctors were able to take care of it.”

Students who were at the game said it was scary to see.

“Because we were just cheering and all of a sudden everyone was telling us to get off the field,” said Trixie Thomas, a freshman cheerleader.

“Everybody was worried, and you could see the people on the field, in a rush, in a way,” said Ridge.

The district has several safety precautions in place, like their partnership with a non-profit called Play Safe.

“They help provide trainers for our high schools and they also work with our middle schools,” said Hanvey.

Hanvey said they typically have EMS services at games.

“All our coaches go through CPR training, AD training, concussion protocol training,” he said.

The safety of their players and students is their number one priority.

“It’s going to be a hard-fought, competitive game on the field, but we understand that things like last night are more important than the actual outcome of the game. it’s all about taking care of our kids,” said Hanvey.

Everyone is praying the student is back in school with his friends, as soon as possible.

“Sending prayers and I hope all is well,” said Ridge.

“You’re in our prayers, please pull through,” said Thomas.

Mr. Dylan Hudson, principal of Seneca High School, said “First and foremost, our prayers and support are with the student and his family. We have counselors available for students and staff as needed. We ask the community to join us in praying for a full recovery.”