Students rally behind injured football player

KINGSTON, Tenn (WVLT)- It's been 5 days since Seth Haynes, 15, broke his neck during his high school football game.

He's still in the hospital but, his family tells Local 8 News he is making good progress.

Seth is walking and talking but, still having hard time eating.

While Seth gets stronger, more than 700 of his classmates are rallying behind him.

They took a break from class to help raise money for Seth.

"He loves sports not just football he loves sports in general," says close friend and teammate Bryson Ashford, "and to know that's going to be taken away from him is going to be struggle."

A struggle these students are determined to fight with Seth, they say he won't go through this alone.

"Kingston is a small town community, very close knit, everybody knows everybody, we've grown up together, so they want to show that they care about him and love him," says Ruth Thompson, an English teacher at Roane County High School.

Seth's mom, Tammie Haynes, is overwhelmed by the support.

"You don't realize until something like this happens, how people pull together in a community, and we're just grateful for them."

She's been at Seth's bedside since the accident.

"I think if he was able to eat he'd feel a whole lot better, he's not been able to eat anything, but he's doing good. I think once he gets to go home he'll be a whole lot better."

Seth could be back in his own bed as early as Wednesday night.

"We've got everything situated for him at school, you know, we've got people taking care of all that so, I think it's just going to be a day by day thing when we get home."

Seth's football coach Brian Pankey tells Local 8 News, Seth will always be a vital part of the Yellow Jackets football team, even if he's on the sidelines.

Seth's recovery will be expensive, so if you would like to donate to help him, the family has an account set up at the Citizens National Bank in Kingston.