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High-School football players risk concussions but tackling, technique, helmets are preventions

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High-School football players risk concussions but tackling, technique, helmets are preventions

Frank Cushenberry, senior varsity football #22, demonstrates

Frank Cushenberry, senior varsity football #22, demonstrates "Heads Up Tackling" technique used to prevent concussions.

By by Blayce Woodward, Sports Editor

Frank Cushenberry, senior varsity football #22, demonstrates "Heads Up Tackling" technique used to prevent concussions.

By by Blayce Woodward, Sports Editor

By by Blayce Woodward, Sports Editor

Frank Cushenberry, senior varsity football #22, demonstrates "Heads Up Tackling" technique used to prevent concussions.

By Blayce Woodward, Sports Editor

Concussions are a fact of life in high school football, and anyone who has ever played might agree that concussions are a likely risk.

According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.”

A concussion is a sudden movement that can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells. They are essentially considered mild brain injuries because they are not usually  life-threatening, but can, sometimes, be serious.

According to Travis’ head coach and athletic director, Joe Frank Martinez, “Concussions are just something [that happens]; you can do things to prevent them, but it’s a violent sport, and they’re gonna happen.”

He said the best way to prevent concussions is to know how to tackle and wear the correct equipment.

“Heads-up tackling where players don’t have their heads down,” he said, “is the best way to prevent concussions.” Fitting players with the right helmet is important and helps in prevention.”

The University Interscholastic League mandates strict rules for Concussion Management Protocol and Return to Play when there is even suspect of a concussion.

The rules state that schools must have signed papers confirming that a player has been evaluated by a physician selected by the student, their parent or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student, and the student has completed the Return to Play protocol established by the school district Concussion Oversight Team and the school has received a written statement from the physician indicating, that in the physician’s professional judgment, it is safe for the student to return to play.

Coach Martinez said he and his coaches pay close attention to the probability of concussions happening and they not only follow the UIL rules, but AISD also has a similar protocol.

“A violent hit on the brain will take longer to come back from than other injuries,” he said.  “A player with a concussion might miss 2 to 3 games, depending on the severity could be life-threatening.”

He said the safety of his players is all that matters.

Riddel, the leading football gear manufacturer and the first company to invent football helmets, has been perfecting the football helmet for decades.

Richard Williams, a spokesperson for Riddell, said their goal is to provide head gear that prevents serious brain injury to players.

“Our mission is to continue advancing the helmet, so players will be safe from brain injury.”

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About the Writer
Blayce Woodward, Sports Editor

Age? 17

Grade? Junior

Born? Dallas, TX

What do you like about being on this newspaper staff? 

What have you learned being on the newspaper staff? 

What are your future plans? 

What are your hobbies? I like music. It's cool.

Organizations in which you are involved in? I'm in AV production, Tennis, Golf, Newspaper and the Drum Line.

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High-School football players risk concussions but tackling, technique, helmets are preventions