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Youth Football Player Recovering from Head and Neck Injuries

12-year-old suffered a concussion and whiplash at Sunday game

A Manchester girl who suffered neck and head injuries during a Sunday youth football league game is recovering at home, her mother said.

Alexis Difilippo, 12, is recovering from "severe" whiplash and a concussion she sustained in an American Youth Football game held at the sports complex on Route 571, her mother Kim Pyne said in an email.

"She is currently experiencing blurred vision, dizziness and nausea from the concussion," Pyne said. "She does have some swelling in the back of the neck as well but she is resting at home with her twin sister and the rest of her family."

Manchester police Patrolman Keith Craig responded to the field at 12:37 p.m. Sunday for a 12-year-old football player with a neck injury.

Upon Craig's arrival, medical personnel were stabilizing the girl, one of four captains of her team, on the 50-yard line where the injury occurred.

Pyne said that the injuries happened during the game's second quarter. 

"Alexis tackled him from behind when they went to the ground some part of the other players uniform became caught up on her helmet causing her head to abruptly twist," she said.

The girl, who was named an all star at the first game of the season, was in and out of consciousness following the injury and the medical personnel on scene requested a helicopter for transport to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. A MONOC MedEvac helicopter was dispatched to the landing zone at Manchester Township Middle School.

"It was a challenge to keep her conscious but all of the coaches did an outstanding job. I was on the field with her the entire time as I have spent 20-plus years in EMS both in a volunteer and paid capacity," Pyne said.

Manchester and Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Companies were also dispatched to secure the landing zone. Once stabilized the patient was flown via helicopter to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for evaluation and treatment.

Difilippo, a guard and tackle who is in her third year playing, will not be able to compete in her team's playoff run, her mother said, though she "is looking forward to getting back out on the field next season."

The family of the middle school honor student thanked those who helped Difilippo after the incident.

"We truly appreciate the outpouring of concern from all of the players, coaches and families," she said, adding that Mayor Michael Fressola called to express his concern. "Officer Craig from the Manchester Police Department, Quality Medical staff, and the paramedics did an outstanding job and we are grateful."

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Irina October 16, 2012 at 09:58 PM
10 girls among the roster of over 10,000 boys playing in the area league (Copied from the app.com) What the heck is mommy trying to prove. NO girl has any place in a boy's league. Smarten up mom, take her out before she's a cripple. OMG Wishing Alexis a full recovery
janice October 16, 2012 at 11:24 PM
well guess who this is the 21st century where girls want to play sports and not just be the cheerleader anymore that said this girl plays as well as the boys on her team and she asks no special treatment she has earned her place on the team maybe guess who you should have seen her play before you made your comments this girl has made her mind up to play and i am proud to say this girl is my granddaughter and i couldnt be prouder of her if i tried and as far as her mother smartening up i taught my kids if they wanted something go after if and she has passed that on to her daughter and im one proud mom and grandmother and by the way its a youth league not a boys league
Kim Pyne October 16, 2012 at 11:45 PM
@Guess Who... I see you have not quoted the fact that her team was undefeated last year and were the B division champions nor have you stated that they are in the playoffs again this season! Being as it is a YOUTH football league gender plays no issue here. Alexis is one of the stronger players on the team, holds her own with no special treatment and could give any boy her age a run for their money! The incident was a freak accident that occurred when SHE MADE THE TACKLE not as a result of her being tackled. She has earned the respect of her coaches, teammates, fans, and players on other teams because she is a strong dedicated player! She has proven that time and again! Perhaps before you pass judgement based on gender you should come out and see her play!! Thank you for your well wishes anyway!! VERY PROUD MOM OF MANCHESTER HAWKS PEE WEE #11
Michelle D October 17, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Ok, so who ever guess who is needs to realize that any GIR/WOMAN is FULLY capable of doing any task that the male species does. The mother is an absolutly wonderful mother and those that do not know her should step off and learn theirplace. Oh, and just a thought...a woman is the stronger sex...trying dealing with everything that we do. While I pray that Alexis has a full recovervy as well, I believe if she wishes to get back on the field she should. There is no reason a young lady should NOT participate. And if "guess who" or any other punk thinks otherwise, maybe, just maybe they should keep their mouth shut because a chovanestic pig should stay the hell in the pig pen!
Don't Even Go There October 17, 2012 at 12:42 AM
A boy's league? Really? There are no rules in AYF stating that football players must be boys! Same for Pop Warner. And as far as "Mommy" goes, she is not trying to prove anything. Her daughter chose the sport, not her. Unfortunately, there are injuries in EVERY sport, not just football. I have seen Alexis in action and let me tell you, she is TOUGH! Real tough! She does not back down from a challenge. If you read the article, she was the one making the tackle.
Erika October 17, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Mommy isn't trying to prove anything there buddy. Alexis has just as much right as any boy to play football, and she is very passionate about it. This is the 21st century. Your gender bias and stereotypical comments are ignorant. These kinds of injuries happen to guys as well, are you gonna say they shouldn't play? She is a wonderful player, hence why she is a team captain.
jerseygirl91 October 17, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Guess Who...I think you you should think before you speak, why woulyou wnt to raise any child to believe they can't do something due to their gender, race, etc. That is riduclous. If you ever came to a game, you would see that this young lady belongs on that field as much as the other players. The boys don't look at her as a girl but a team mate. I think you should keep your opinions to yourself, on things that you have no clue about.
JD October 17, 2012 at 03:16 AM
As a parent, I would never have my daughter play football with the boys at any age (perhaps as the kicker)... and I could care less if my daughter wanted to play... I'm the parent. Then again, if i had a son, I wouldn't have him play football either... listen folks... we are not talking about a sprain ankle or broken arm or even acl... we are talking about a concussion and whiplash.. that is a serious injury.
different view point October 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM
DIFFERENT VIEW POINT Why is everyone always quick to blame the mother? Where is the father? Why doesn't the school have an all girl football league as many do for soccer? "Guess who" feels girls should't play boy sports at all, then boys should't be on cheerleading nor choose a profession such as a nurse.
Suzanne Nuccio October 17, 2012 at 10:34 AM
Really JD, do you let your kids ride in the car with you? Because those injuries can happen there as well. And as far as your comment, ALL those injuries mentioned are serious and can happen any where, playing a sport or not.
different view point October 17, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Another thought...cooking is said to be for women, yet many top chefs are for men. In sports there are numerous top female athletes. Myself being in gymnastics a co-ed sport but competition seperate, I did a fine job at injuring myself, lol. JD if you are afraid to get injured then you will not take a chance at anything and thierefore never really live a full life. Anyone can get hurt at anytime doing anything.
Xavier October 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Regardless of this whole gender equality battling, if my CHILD had an injury that nearly killed them there is no way on Earth I would let them play again. Boy or girl.
Just a girl October 17, 2012 at 02:15 PM
@ Chris and JD- I suppose the fact that this girl suffered a concussion two years ago playing in HER OWN BACKYARD means that mommy should not let her outside either? There are risks associated with any sport, there are risks associated with everything a reasonably active person does. This should not hold anyone back from living their life to the fullest! I suppose neither of you goes to amusement parks, play any sports, ride a bike, roller skate, skateboard, drive a car, cross a street, fly on a plane, or leave your house. Hell the Shoprite parking lot on any given day is a risk all of it's own!! She is an active child, she is a strong child, she just happens to be a girl. I have personally seen her take a 180 pound man to the ground with a cut block before he even knew what hit him!! As for her father, he could not be more proud of her, he is at practices and games cheering her on loud and proud! Too many kids are spending too much time sitting on their lazy butts watching tv, playing video games, walking with their faces smashed into a phone. Kids need motivation, and drive to succeed in life, if this is her driving force so be it! This child is conscientous, compassionate, driven, respectful and motivated. She is an honor student, has been named student of the month multiple times, received a good citizenship award and takes pride in being a leader not a follower! Looks like mommy raised a Lady who will take no sh**!!! Great job momma K!!
Angel October 17, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Regardless of the sport, a child was injured. I just thank god she is ok!! It's not the time to put down the mother for a sport her child chose, children regardless of gender or sport can get hurt, and no mother should have to see their child hurt.
janice October 17, 2012 at 02:24 PM
does your child ride a bike or take a school bus or walk out the front door they can get hurt doing any of these things so unless you wrap your child in bubble wrap and put them on a shelf they will get hurt in their life alexis mother broke her leg when she was 3 falling off a kitchen chair so maybe i should have had her in a high chair her whole life please kids get hurt and by the way if u think a girl being a cheerleader is so safe check the stats on broken necks and limbs in that sport
Cheerleader October 19, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Football is not just a boy sport and Alexis has the capability to play with her teammates. She's actually gotten the All-Star jersey and is good at what she does and takes pride in it. She takes hits and smacks and sucks it up. She's tough and i give her credit because i could never play football. You go lexi! I gotcha lex, i gotcha..i think you know who it is now(;
Mekai Matthew Curtis October 19, 2012 at 05:00 AM
I got a dislocated shoulder playing Jr.Pee Wee football and it took me away from the field for a few seasons but I'm going to make my return soon. ALEXIS IS GOING TO HEAL FAST AND SHE WILL BE BREAKING NECKS AGAIN SOONER THAN YOU THINK TRUST ME!!!
pissy October 21, 2012 at 08:07 PM
SERIOUSLY? Play against her, I bet she would take you down. LOL
pissy October 21, 2012 at 08:11 PM
I DONT CARE WHAT SEX THE PERSON THAT GOT INJURED IS. I HOPE SHE RECOVERS QUICKLY AND GETS BACK UP ON THE SADDLE. :))

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