Depew team honors opposing player during game

Posted at 11:16 AM, Sep 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-19 12:16:20-04

UPDATE: Ben Hamm has died from his injuries. Click here to read more.


A high school in Creek County celebrated homecoming Friday by honoring an injured student from the opposing team.

The Depew Hornets took on the team from Bartlesville's Wesleyan Christian School, which was down one player.

Ben Hamm, a high school junior at Wesleyan Christian, scored a touchdown for his team during a game on September 11, but took a hard hit during the next play.

Head Coach Nathan England said Hamm got up slowly, so he was pulled to the sidelines where he collapsed shortly thereafter.

Doctors determined that Hamm had bleeding on his brain. England said they are keeping Hamm in a medically-induced coma to lower the pressure in his head after he underwent surgery.

"His dad sent us a text message today," England said, "that said Ben's with you in your heart. Go play for him. Play hard. Don't give up. That's what he wants you to do."

The Wesleyan Christian football team returned to the field for the first time without Hamm Friday to play against Depew. The students and faculty there heard about what happened to Hamm and decided to do something to honor him.

"The football team got together, and we've got Ben's number on the back of our helmets," said Tony Martin, the Depew High School principal. "We'll keep those there for the entire year. Hopefully this just keeps him in our hearts and our prayers."

In addition to putting number 28 on their helmets, the Depew football team collected money as well as a basket full of snacks to send to Hamm's family in the hospital.

"We hope he gets better, and I hope he continues healing," said Kody Hilbert, the Depew football team's quarterback. "Our whole school's been praying. Our whole team's been praying, and many other schools have been praying, too."

England said the support that Hamm and his family received is well appreciated.

"We were down at the hospital with them Wednesday night, and I took some guys down," England said. "They said it's just amazing the amount of prayers that we've heard coming in and all over the world in fact just for their son. They've been incredibly humbled by it, and it's really pretty cool."

England said Hamm's condition keeps improving each day, which is an encouraging sign.


Ben Hamm has died after sustaining a head injury at a football game earlier this month.

Posted by KJRH on Saturday, September 19, 2015