TIPTON, Mo. -- A Missouri high school football player who had been hospitalized with a brain injury since an October playoff game died Thursday, according to the school district's superintendent.
Chad Stover, a junior at Tipton High School, had been hospitalized in critical condition since Oct. 31, when he was taken off the football field near the end of the game and taken by ambulance to the hospital. He died at a hospital in Columbia, said Scott Jarvis, superintendent of the Tipton School District.
Officials have not said how Stover was injured. Jarvis said last week he couldn't discuss details of the injury but described it as "very serious."
Jason West, spokesman for the Missouri State High School Activities Association, said the association had been made aware of Stover's injury and death, but he was uncertain how Stover was injured.
"We do know the game was halted at that time," West said.
He said the MSHSAA would review how the injury was dealt with at the field in Sedalia where the game was played. The association recommends having some type of medical service available at football games, but requires only that each school have an action plan in place to deal with medical emergencies. He said preliminary information indicates the school did follow its action plan.
If an autopsy finds Stover died as a result of a football injury, he would become the seventh high school football fatality this year. That would make 2013 one of the deadliest in the past 25 years.
Since 1986, when 11 high school players died as a result of football injuries, only twice have seven players died -- eight in 2001 and seven in 2008, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Research at the University of North Carolina. There were no such fatalities in 2012, according to the center.
The school and family have received outpourings of support since Stover was hospitalized. Schools around Missouri displayed red ribbons in honor of Tipton's school colors or displayed Stover's No. 18 on their fields. Residents also covered his central Missouri town of Tipton in red ribbons.
Stover's mother, Amy, had been posting updates on her son's hospitalization on the Caring Bridge website. In her last post on Tuesday, she said he seemed "to slip backwards a little more everyday."
"He has so many different injuries going on in that beautiful head of his," her entry said.
Chad was a very popular, intelligent student, and the Stovers are active members of the Tipton school community, Jarvis said last week.
"If you wanted to pick a kid to be your son, that'd be the one you'd pick," Jarvis said.
Information from ESPN's Tom Farrey and The Associated Press was used in this report.