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Union Mine football player remains in critical condition

Nick Brown, a junior varsity football player at Union Mine High School, was one of two players who collapsed after a Friday night game. He remained hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition after undergoing emergency brain surgery Friday night.
Nick Brown, a junior varsity football player at Union Mine High School, was one of two players who collapsed after a Friday night game. He remained hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition after undergoing emergency brain surgery Friday night. Brown family

Nick Brown, the Union Mine High School sophomore hospitalized with severe head injuries after a Friday night junior varsity football game, may face weeks or months on his “journey towards recovery,” according to a Facebook post from his family Tuesday.

In an update on the “Pray for Nick Brown” Facebook page, the family observed that the sophomore, 15, had shown “small signs of his will to fight.”

“His doctor has stated that Nick is young and is in excellent health which will be key in his journey towards recovery. However, this journey could last weeks, months or longer,” the Facebook post said. “There is no clear indication of a time frame at present.”

Nancy Turner, spokeswoman for Sutter Roseville Medical Center, said Brown remains in critical condition in intensive care at the hospital. Brown had brain surgery Friday night after a “high impact blow to the head that caused a subdural brain bleed.”

Family members have asked for privacy but said via the post they are “grateful for the outpouring of love and concern from the community, the medical staff who has been providing care for Nick.”

Brown and sophomore Justin Schwartz had just finished leading their junior varsity football team to a 27-8 win over Foothill High School when people noticed something wasn’t quite right. Then Brown passed out, said El Dorado Union High School District Superintendent Stephen Wehr. Brown was transported by helicopter to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

This journey could last weeks, months or longer. There is no clear indication of a time frame at present.

Facebook family page, Pray for Nick Brown

Schwartz was taken to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Roseville. He has been released and is recovering at home. He suffered a concussion and a nerve injury to his neck, according to Wehr.

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office became involved after some students reported that the players may have taken a prescription stimulant, Adderall. The Sheriff’s Office is still examining that issue.

The inquiry, however, led to the arrest Monday morning of a 17-year-old male Union Mine student who allegedly furnished classmates with Adderall. The student was taken to El Dorado County juvenile hall; his name has not been released because he is a minor.

Law enforcement officials said Monday that they had not established a link between the suspect and the football players.

The Sheriff’s Office and the school district are continuing their investigations, according to officials from both agencies. A couple of investigators from the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office and a juvenile probation officer have joined the law enforcement investigation, said sheriff’s Lt. Tom Murdoch.

An investigator for the District Attorney’s Office said through an intermediary he would not comment until the case is turned over to prosecutors.

On Monday afternoon, sheriff’s investigators served three search warrants on the gym locker, backpack and home of the arrested juvenile, Murdoch said. He said more Adderall was found in the home and has been booked into evidence.

He said Tuesday that conversations with football players, students and faculty on Monday “have led us to other people, and we’re in the process of interviewing those folks today.”

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