Lehigh Acres community football teammates rally around 9-year-old injured in crash

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

The community is rallying behind a 9-year-old boy who is fighting for his life after a crash. He was ejected and pinned underneath a pickup truck during a rollover crash in Lehigh acres recently. His fellow football teammates and friends are doing everything they can to support him and his family.

When JW’s teammates take the field at Lehigh Acres Community Park Saturday, they’ll have decals with his initials on their helmets.

The youth football community in Lehigh Acres told us JW and his mother have been a major part of the league for years. That’s why they immediately jumped into action to help in any way they could.

“They always say a mom knows, and I know; I feel it; I feel it that he’s going to be OK,” mother Lindsay Dove said.

Dove’s son was critically injured in the crash. His father was driving him to school Monday morning when their truck flipped over. JW was ejected and pinned underneath.

“He promised mom that he’s going to go into the NFL and take care of me when I get old,” Dove said. “So I’m holding him to that promise.”

JW loves football. He’s been playing for years and is a member of the Lehigh Acres raiders. Dove’s football family is raising money to make sure she doesn’t fall behind on bills while she’s by JW’s side.

“Everybody is like, ‘I don’t know how you do it; I don’t know how you do it,’” Dove said. “Well, I’m getting the love and the support of my family, of my friends, of my second family, of people I don’t even know.”

JW’s former coach, Tony Hoffman, is collecting donations where he works. But he’s also printing decals, which will be on the helmets of JW’s teammates.

“I know for a fact that Lindsay, JW’s mom, would do anything for anybody,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman says other teams in other leagues will also have the decals on their helmets. He says Lindsay and JW have meant so much to youth football.

“She would drop anything, give you the shirt off her back if she had to,” Hoffman said. “And to see the community rally around her, it gives me goosebumps. It gives me chills, and it makes me very, very proud that, you know, we can come together and make this happen for her and JW.”

It’s the kind of support Lindsay feels as JW fights for his life.

“I can truly say that I love each and every one of them,” Dove said. “They’re amazing.”

There is also a t-shirt fundraiser happening, and those shirts have #JWStrong on them.=

All Dove is asking for now are prayers.

“He wants people to laugh and have fun,” Dove said. “He’s the most amazing kid I’ve ever met.”

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