Skip to main content

Prep football player has part of skull removed following on-field injury

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A 16-year-old linebacker on the Dassel-Cokato high school football team is in serious condition after emergency surgery to relieve swelling in his brain.

The Star Tribune reports that Luke Nelson was injured making a tackle as his team played Orono in a Friday night game in Cokato. The injury wasn’t immediately apparent and he remained on the field after the collision until he collapsed. He was unconscious when an ambulance delivered him to a Litchfield hospital and was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in critical condition. Surgeons there removed the right half of his skull to relieve the swelling and allow his brain to heal.

His hometown newspaper, the Dassel-Cokato Enterprise Dispatch, posted a CaringBridge site for Nelson, whose nickname is Boomer. His parents, Greg and Sara Nelson, wrote on website that the teen was breathing with the help of a ventilator. “Luke is in there. … What a blessing,” his family’s update said.

The Star Tribune reported that Nelson's teammate Tom Halonen watched game film Saturday and said Nelson's collision occurred with four minutes remaining in the game. He said it appeared that Nelson collided with one of Orono’s running backs.

Dassel-Cokato coaches met with Nelson’s teammates Saturday morning to update them on his condition.

The Associated Press reported that the activities director for the Dassel-Cokato district said that Nelson is responding to doctors and family members. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Next Up

Christopher Keyes

Prolific speeder charged in crash that killed woman, 75, in Plymouth

The man has seven speeding tickets dating back to 2019.

minneapolis police

Hunt for suspect who broke into apartment, fatally stabbed man

The homicide is the 57th to happen this year in the city.

minnesota state fair

How to save money at the Minnesota State Fair this year

The fair released its money-saving tips Thursday, including on parking, admission and entertainment.

Motel 6 Rochester

Threat of 'potential overdoses' among youths prompts Motel 6 raid

Rochester police says fentanyl pills were among the items seized.

boyd huppert

Boyd Huppert, Twin Cities TV stations among Murrow Award winners

The KARE 11 personality known for his 'Land of 10,000 Stories' feature was among the national winners.

Bar beer

Study: Excessive drinking cost Minnesotans almost $8 billion in 2019

The study was published by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.


Price of Disney+ is going up, unless you want ads

The ad-free version of Disney+ will increase from $7.99 per month to $10.99 per month, effective Dec. 8.


Mall of America shooting suspects arrested in Chicago

The two suspects were spotted leaving a barber shop.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

Walz: Increased state law enforcement presence to stay in Twin Cities

A multi-agency effort to curb crime will go on until further notice.