According to CHOC Children’s, “Concussion rates for children under age 19 who play tackle football has doubled over the last decade, most occurring during practices. Concussions can occur with a blow to the head through helmet to helmet contact, and if undiagnosed and left untreated can lead to permanent brain damage.”
In addition to this, it has been proven that football is accountable for the most concussions in high school sports
over any other sport. Doug Ambrozas, a lineman on Central’s sophomore football team, who has had a concussion in his three-year football career, said there are ways to avoid a concussion.
“I got my concussion during a play at practice in 8th grade where I was on the bottom of a dogpile and a bigger kid than me fell directly on my head. To prevent it, I think I should have had my head in a safer position, but other than that, football is a tough sport, and everyone puts in their maximum effort physically,” Ambrozas said.
Since CTE and concussion levels have begun to increase, many questions have arisen such as “What are the symptoms of concussions?,” “How do I know if I have a concussion?” and “What should I do to recover from a concussion?”
Sophomore lineman Ben Brilje has already experienced two concussions in two years of playing the game.
“[Concussions] have affected the way I’ve slept, and my performance in school,” Brilje said. “ I’d say don’t get a concussion three times because at that point you’d have brain damage. Other than that, take a few days off of school, sleep and be cautious because concussions can get worse overtime.”
Furthermore, Hinsdale Central has a safety policy for the players, so that they are taught “head safe” techniques to prevent concussions.
“Our coaches have been trained and have adopted “head safe” techniques and have been doing this for
five years now. We have also cut back on contact drills and practices during the week for many years. Our
athletes wear Guardian helmet protectors to help with head protection,” said Dan Jones, athletic director.