DALHART, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — After the death of sophomore Yahir Cancino during Thursday’s junior varsity football game, officials with the Dalhart Independent School District have provided services to help support students and staff during the grieving process.
According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Cancino lost consciousness during the fourth quarter of a game in Dimmitt on Thursday and was flown to a Lubbock hospital. Cancino’s family announced Friday that he had died and that his organs were then donated.
A candlelight vigil was hosted Sunday in honor of Cancino, according to previous reports, while many other entities, including Dimmit ISD, Vega ISD, the Texhoma Football Team, Channing ISD and others expressed support for Cancino and the team.
Joey Read, the athletic director and head football coach, said that Cancino, who started out as an offensive lineman but transferred to fullback, was a great kid that made people smile and laugh. Read stressed that no matter what was asked of him, Cancino would do it abundantly.
Dalhart ISD Superintendent Jeff Byrd said there has been an unbelievable amount of support that has been given to the family from the Dalhart community. He also stressed that support has also been given to the school district as a whole as well as staff and students.
“Every superintendent, every school district in Region 16 has reached out,” he said. “(It is a) tragic situation, but (we) certainly appreciate the love and well wishes and thoughts that we’ve received from everyone… Everybody’s willing to do fundraisers and pass the hats etc. at games this week so that they can reach out and help the family with the expenses that they’ve incurred. (It’s) overwhelming how much love and support folks have shown to all of us.”
Read said he has also seen support from football teams and other members of the community around the region.
“I saw great love and support from other school districts, football teams coming to support him at the hospital,” he said. “Sundown, we were playing them and they were involved in the tragedy and so therefore, they supported us and have been coming around and keeping in touch with us.
The crisis team from the Region 16 Education Support Center, along with area pastors, the Texas Panhandle Centers of Amarillo and the counseling staff within the district, have provided support at the school for students and staff. Byrd said he expects that the team from Region 16 will remain on the campus through the rest of the day.
Scot Wright, the principal for Dalhart High School, said it is important to have this available any time during the week. Wright also stressed that if students or staff need anything, they will get it to them.
What stands out to Wright is the community coming together during this time of tragedy, he said.
“People (are coming) together, people are here for each other, just the good that is available, and the good that is coming from it and the good, that is coming and has come and it is going to continue to come from this,” he said. “The resiliency, I mean, it’s amazing.”
Family and friends continued to honor Cancino in Lubbock after his organs were donated by conducting an honor walk around the Lubbock hospital where Cancino was airlifted. Hospital nurses also rose a flag in Cancino’s honor. Issac Hernandez, Cancino’s father, said the overall support from the Dalhart community, along with support coming in from around the state and across the county, means a lot to the family.
“We just ask that they keep praying for the family,” he said. “…They’ve already done so much, so much that I can’t fathom, I can’t see the full extent of it… I just ask for prayers and everything that you do, do it in Christ’s name and honor him with your actions because I believe he would love that.”
Byrd said the district is expecting to host Cancino’s funeral on the site of the football stadium in the upcoming days.
“We’ve reached out to the family and offered our football stadium for the funeral services, and that’s tentatively scheduled for this weekend,” Byrd said. “We’re just waiting for confirmation. But there will be a funeral in the near future and it will be at the memorial football stadium.”
Byrd said as of Tuesday, Dalhart has the intention of playing in their respective football games on Thursday and Friday. At the Junior Varsity game on Thursday, Read expects that players, and community members will come and honor Cancino.
“This Thursday, we’ll take our varsity football team and let them wear their jerseys and they’ll stand on the sidelines and support the JV team in Spearmen this week… just to help them out because it’s going to be tough,” Read said. “You know, they played two games with him. And that’s gonna be the first game without him. I mean, it’s very emotional. I hope the boys lift them up, give them strength, give them confidence and just kind of carry them through this next game. It will be tough.”
During the rest of the home games, Read said the members of the Junior Varsity team will sit up with the varsity and support the team, bringing the entire group together. Read hopes this will bring the team together.
“I just want them to feel like they’re all family and I want them all to be together as much as possible because you never know when something like this is going to happen,” he said. “Then you don’t have that opportunity to say ‘hey, I love you’ or ‘hey, I’m glad to hang out with you’ or ‘I’m glad you’re my teammate.'”