High-school student suffers traumatic spinal injury on football field

It happened during what his head coach calls “a regular football play.”
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 6:53 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Tri-State high-school student has a long recovery ahead of him after he suffered a life-changing injury on the gridiron last month.

Simeon “Tino” Whittle is a senior at Dohn Community High School in Walnut Hills.

Minutes after the first snap in a game on Sept. 3, Tino went in for a tackle in what his head coach, Jared Ward, calls “a regular football play.”

Said Ward, “In that moment, it was ‘T’ making a play as he always does.”

Tino remembers making the tackle and being in shock afterward. As doctors would later tell him, he had broken his neck and split his spinal cord.

Ward says the team rallied around Tino.

“It brought us together, but it also tore us down for a moment,” he said.

Now nearly nine weeks removed from the incident, Tino remains on breathing tubes. Doctors have said some of his injuries can’t be repaired.

Tino is staying in positive spirits during his recovery, whatever it may bring. He’s staying on top of his school work and was excited to have his grandmother with him on Monday to celebrate his birthday.

A message from his coach helped as well.

“Keep your head up, Simeon,” Ward said. “You’re a good inspiration for everyone you’re around. Everyone is praying for you. Keep your head up. We love you.”

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