A former high school football player has sued the Logan County school board for injuries he sustained during preseason football drills in the summer of 2016. Caleb E.J. McDonald filed his lawsuit against the Logan County Board of Education on June 19 in Logan Circuit Court.
McDonald was a senior on the Logan High School varsity football team, where he played nose tackle. On Aug. 2, 2016, he says he was taking part in a one-on-one pass rushing drill under the watch of defensive line coach Joshua Frye and under the approval of head coach Gary Mullens.
“The offensive players were given blocking shields and instructed to protect the ‘pocket’ in which the quarterback would normally be located by pushing away the defensive players with the blocking shields,” according to the complaint. “The defensive players, in turn, were instructed to defeat the offensive players’ blocks and rush into the pocket as quickly as possible.”
During the drill in question, McDonald, an offensive lineman, was holding one of the blocking shields when another player grabbed him and his shield, knocking him “off balance. (A)nd while plaintiff was attempting to stabilize himself, his left (foot) planted into the ground, hyper-extending his left knee.”
McDonald claimed Frye and an athletic trainer looked at his knee and told him to sit on the bench with a bag of ice on his knee. The next day, McDonald sought medical attention. An MRI showed a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. After surgery, he missed the entire football season.
According to the complaint, the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission established a practice schedule for 2016 that included the first day of practice as Aug. 1, the first day of players wearing pads with no contact as Aug. 5, and the first day of live contact as Aug. 9. McDonald claimed Logan High principal Kelly Stanley also was accountable to the WVSSAC and should have notified her staff of the rules.
McDonald, represented by The Segal Law Firm in Charleston, claimed he suffered severe and permanent injuries, sustained medical bills and other expenses, suffered a loss of enjoyment of life and will endure future pain and suffering, physically and mentally. He is seeking compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief.