Las Cruces football player dies from injury suffered earlier this season

Abe Romero, who played football for Organ Mountain, passed away on Saturday. He was 17. He had been hospitalized since he went down at Knights’ road game at Deming on Aug. 26. (Courtesy of Organ Mountain football via Twitter)

Organ Mountain High School football player Abraham Romero, who had been in a medically induced coma since a football-related injury late last month, has died.

Romero, 17, died at an El Paso hospital on Saturday night, according to a Sunday post from the Las Cruces school’s booster club.

He had been hospitalized since going down at a Knights’ road game at Deming on Aug. 26.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that Abraham Romero passed gently on Saturday, September 17 with his mother at his side,” Sunday’s post began.

It continued: “Seventeen years is not nearly long enough, but it’s all he was given. It is very easy to focus on what we lost, but the true measure of life is in the impact it makes on our world, not on the time he was with us.”

The senior football player had been thrown to the ground earlier in the game while at running back, but approximately 20 minutes had passed before he collapsed between plays, Knights coach Steve Castille said.

Romero’s condition worsened on Sept. 10.

The team captain’s battle ended Saturday, a devastating conclusion to a fight that saw the city of Las Cruces rally around both Romero, his family (including his mother, Elizabeth Alonzo) and the Organ Mountain program.

Organ Mountain’s team had already begun wearing a decal with Romero’s number (22) and initials in tribute to their fallen teammate.

On Sunday night, there was a candle lighting vigil at the Organ Mountain football field.

The announcement of Romero’s death drew widespread expressions of grief and support from other high schools — and many individual players — throughout New Mexico, from Alamogordo to Farmington to Las Vegas to Albuquerque.

The New Mexico Activities Association posted this on Twitter:

“The NMAA would like to send our sincere condolences to the family of Organ Mountain High School’s Abe Romero. We are heartbroken to hear about his passing. Our thoughts are with you, the OM football program, and entire Las Cruces community at this very difficult time.”

Romero was named Organ Mountain’s homecoming king last Thursday night.

“The outpouring of love, support, and prayers from the Las Cruces community, surrounding areas and even from states away has been nothing short of magical,” the booster club’s Facebook post said. “The knowledge that Abe has been the center of it all has carried his immediate family and the OMHS football team through these last weeks.”

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