Tragedy struck a Jacksonville high school when a baseball player passed away days after being struck by a batted ball during a fall hitting practice.
According to the Florida Times-Union and ActionNewsJax.com, among other sources, Jacksonville (Fla.) Ribault High senior Greg Green passed away on Saturday at the University of Florida's Shands Medical Center. The senior's death came three days after he was struck in the head by a ball hit by a teammate in a batting cage, despite shielding himself with a protective batting practice fence during the session in which the incident occurred.
Ribault Principal Dr. James Young told the media that the baseball accident occurred on the school's campus during an after-school practice session. According to Young, Green was pitching to a teammate when the other teen hit a rising liner that hit the metal frame of the protective screen Green was pitching behind. The drive then ricocheted off the metal frame of the batting cage and re-directed down onto Green's head while the senior was attempting to duck behind the protective screen.
While the loss of any teenager is a tragedy, Green's passing brought a tidal wave of sadness to the Jacksonville school because of his place in the Ribault community. According to Young, the teenager was a model student who carried a 4.0 GPA and was dedicated to both baseball and the school's ROTC program.
"He was such a great kid," Young told the Times-Union. "He wanted to be a JAG officer in the Navy. He was the type of kid that if he wanted to do something, he was going to become it. He quickly rose up the ranks in the ROTC.
"This was a freak accident that happened and it's so unfortunate for that young man and his family."
While there may be little that can comfort those most closely affected by Green's passing at the moment, Young told ActionNewsJax.com that the school would do all it could to maintain memories of his time there and the example he set.
"A student of his caliber, one that really is a great role model, for this to happen, it just impacts so many"