• Cole Robb

Don't get concussed, trust the equipment

For many years football players have been put in danger of injury thesecondtheysteponthefield. Over the years, reforms have changed the rules of the game and technology advancements have come to benefit the safety of the players. But yet, there is still a risk of playing on the field.

13.2 percent of injuries reported in high school football that happen to players are concussions according to prevacus.com. Therefore, concussions are still an issue that needs to be addressed and not swept under the radar of football organizations and staff. Junior football player Jadon Matthews has a lot of experience with this injury. He is currently eligible to play but has had lots of breaks resulting from concussions in the past.

“I’ve had eight concussions total. All were from football and five of them being confirmed by doctors,” Matthews said.

Concussions do need evaluated and athletic staff continues to help athletes get through the process of these injuries and others.

“Staff wise Tyler and Anna (athletic trainers at the high school) helped a lot with stretches for my neck, and Coach McKendrick helped keep me strong,” Matthews said.

With concussions being a short-lived injury, many players go right back on the field working on their game once they feel better again. Coach Mckendrick, who worked with Jadon on his concussions among others, gave his feedback on the subject of head injuries.

“If there are concussions happening over and over again, you have to look at the athlete to see if it’s still OK for them to play,” McKendrick said.

Over time, technology has progressed and more concussions are being prevented. The overall rate and number of competition-related concussions did increase in the 2015-2016 season. However, the rate of concussions during practice dropped below 5 per 1,000 athletic exposures to 4.77 for the first time since the 2010- 2011 season, when it was 3.11, according to nfhs.org. This shows advancements in equipment and training (according to nfhs.org).

“In the strength and conditioning world, people still manage to come up with more ways to train the neck and upper body to absorb impact. People are also still continuing to make better equipment in football,” McKendrick said.

There has been talk in recent years of the long-term effects of concussions.

Studies have shown that repeated head trauma has effects on the brain.

“Sometimes I worry about memory issues when I’m older such as Alzheimer’s since my grandfather suffered from it,” Matthews said.

As time goes on, it does seem as if preventing concussions and other sports injuries more is in progress. Athletes are safer than they used to be, and aren’t going to stop playing for any type of injury, and as a result more technology and reforms will come to sports to stop these injuries once and for all.

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