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School rallies to support boy critically injured in football game

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HAYDEN, Ind. (Nov. 7, 2014)-- On Friday, a community came together to support a sixth grader who suffered a critical head injury on the football field.

Calvin Clark, 11, and a 6th-grade student at Hayden Elementary School, was competing in the Police Athletic Activities League Fall Bash Tournament in Columbus Saturday.

Clark was hit hard and suffered a head injury. He was taken to Riley Hospital for Children, where he underwent surgery, said Chuck Kime, executive director for Columbus Foundation for Youth.

Calvin Clark

Calvin Clark

Clark is currently in critical but stable condition.

This week, classmates decorated a sign with the hash tag #CALVINSTRONG.

On Friday, staff, students, and teachers wore red and white in honor of Clark's favorite team - the Indiana University Hoosiers.

"I hope IU nation knows we did the best we could when we took the photo. It is IU-symbol like! We want Calvin and his family know that his school is still crazy about him. We are supporting them and Calvin’s quick recovery," said Principal Brent Comer.

Even Purdue University fans, like Clark's teacher Mrs. Stoner, put on IU red for the first time!

"The kids have been asking all week, are you going to wear an IU shirt? I said I will, because I love Calvin way more than I dislike IU.  I kept my loyalty with a Purdue bracelet and Purdue Pete earrings on!," said teacher Erin Stoner.

"It`s kinda hard not to think about it. But, we need to be strong, because it if we aren`t strong, it`s hard for him to be strong," shared Clark's friend McKenna Maschino.

Clark's friends will visit him Saturday at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis.

"I just hope he comes back home a hundred percent. I hope that he gets well. We miss him," said friend Raul Ruiz.

The students are also planning to sell bracelets that say "Calvin Strong" to support Clark as he recovers.

"He loves IU and everyone here loves him. We are all praying for him," said  McKenna Maschino.

Added teacher Erin Stoner, "I’ve been amazed at how kids in the community have pulled together and that has pulled up my spirits and the kids spirits and I know Calvin’s family as well,"