Prep athlete in trauma unit

A Green Valley High School football player remained in serious condition Saturday night at Sunrise Hospital after suffering a back injury Friday.

LaQuan Phillips, 17, remained in the trauma intensive care unit as of 6 p.m. Saturday. He was listed in serious condition, hospital spokesperson Ashlee Seymour said.

Phillips was scheduled to undergo surgery today to alleviate swelling in his vertebrae, Green Valley coach Matt Gerber said.

Phillips, a senior defensive back, suffered the injury after an apparent collision with 7:25 remaining in the second quarter of Green Valley’s 24-20 home loss to Centennial on Friday night.

Paramedics arrived less than 10 minutes after Phillips first went down, and he was carried off on a stretcher before being taken to Sunrise Hospital.

Though Phillips still has no movement of his arms or legs, he “has feeling coming back,” Gerber said.

Phillips’ teammates and friends came to the hospital hoping to check on his status Saturday afternoon. Though visitors were not permitted to see Phillips, several left notes for him and his family outside the intensive care unit.

“We’ve all been hoping he gets well,” said Green Valley junior linebacker Tim Himlin, who visited the hospital. “We were happy when we found he had some sensation.”

Gerber addressed the situation with his players at the Gators’ practice and film session Saturday morning, after which many players and coaches left immediately for Sunrise Hospital.

“They seem to be in good spirits,” Gerber said of his players. “This is tough for these kids.

“For many of them, this is one of the first tragedies they’ve had to deal with.”

Contact reporter Tristan Aird at taird@ or 702-387-5203.

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