Rahway High School senior football player Ali Muhammad has died, according to a statement posted to the team's Twitter page Thursday night.
"It is with great sadness, and a heavy heart, that we are sharing the unfortunate passing of Rahway Senior football player, Ali Muhamad. Our hearts go out to the family during this tough time. You will forever be in our thoughts," the post read.
Head coach Brian Russo said the team wanted to play Friday’s 7 p.m. game at Lincoln High School in Jersey City.
“We obviously didn’t practice yesterday and we came back and we met for dinner last night,” Russo said early Friday afternoon. “We told them, obviously, if you feel uncomfortable playing the game we expect to cancel, but the kids really wanted to play.
“So we’ll go out there, we’re going to do our best and keep him in our hearts and prays. All our thoughts, especially as a staff, are with his family. We all have children and when you think about something like that, man, it’s just unconscionable.”
Russo didn’t have any additional details about Muhammad's passing.
“All the players and the whole football family and the whole football community,” he said, “we’re all mourning now and our hearts and our thoughts are with his family.”
Assistant coach Mike Kuchar retweeted a Facebook post from Percy Lamont Brown that said, “I am in grieving, my son is passed away, Ali Muhammad, gone way too soon.”
It is with great sadness, and a heavy heart, that we are sharing the unfortunate passing of Rahway Senior football player, Ali Muhamad. Our hearts go out to the family during this tough time. You will forever be in our thoughts. 💔💔💔😥😥😥 pic.twitter.com/LSSTSyheGA
— Rahway Football (@rahwayfootball) September 9, 2022
Kuchar wrote on Twitter, “Lost a brother today. We will be playing for him, his family and everything he represented tomorrow night.”
— Mike Kuchar (@MikekKuchar) September 8, 2022
“Such heartbreaking news. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this extremely difficult time!” read another post on the team's Twitter page.
This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: Rahway High School football team mourns death of Ali Muhammad