Former Mallard Creek football player suffers spinal injury

Former Mallard Creek football player suffers spinal injury

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A Winston-Salem State football player who was on Mallard Creek High School’s championship-winning team has been hospitalized after a spinal injury during practice.

WSSU said Thursday that freshman safety Marquise Gaddy was injured a day earlier and is in serious but stable condition at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Team spokesman Kevin Manns says Gaddy is expected to make a full recovery. Athletic director Tonia Walker says school officials are "relieved with the positive prognosis."

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Mallard Creek head coach Mike Palmieri and his coaching staff made the one hour drive north to a Winston-Salem area hospital Thursday morning to visit Gaddy.

“He's a fighter,” Palmieri said. “He's in good spirits. Just some good words of encouragement we gave him to let him know we're in his corner.”

Word about the injury began to spread to his former teammates Wednesday night.

“That's like my brother to me so I didn't know what to feel like,” James Smith Jr., Mallard Creek quarterback, said. “I was hoping he was OK. I wanted to go see him immediately but I know I couldn't.

Palmieri said Gaddy is moving his arms and legs and believes he will make a full recovery.

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