HOLMDEL — Supporters have already raised thousands of dollars to help the family of a high school football player who suffered a severe spinal cord injury during a game last week.

Saint John Vianney senior, 18-year-old Aaron Van Trease, was airlifted to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital after being hurt in the first quarter of Friday's game against Manasquan.

On Saturday, he underwent surgery to remove the fractured vertebrae and has begun his recovery, according to an online fundraiser.

"We all remain hopeful that he will regain the strength and mobility he once had," according to GoFundMe organizer, Lindsay Scollo, who continued in the effort's summary, "Anyone who knows Aaron can attest to his determination and incredible ambition."

attachment-(St John Vianney Football via Twitter)

Another effort to raise funds for the Van Trease family has been a special merchandise store opened by Asylum Sports Center based in Wall Township.

By early Wednesday, more than $26,500 had already been donated for Aaron and his parents, Richard and Deborah, as they incur "medical expenses, rehabilitation, modifications to home/vehicles, accommodation/travel and any other support required for Aaron’s ongoing recovery," according to the GoFundMe campaign.

Proceeds from all sales of the shirts and hats bearing "AV18" — the athlete's initials and jersey number — would also go straight to the family, according to Asylum's Director of Football Operations, Jason Wombough in a letter shared on Twitter.

"Football is a great game of competitive spirit but it's so much bigger than a game," Wombough said in a written response to New Jersey 101.5 on Wednesday.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at erin.vogt@townsquaremedia.com

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Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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