Coaches talk safety as football season nears

Published: Aug. 24, 2013 at 12:32 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2013 at 12:57 AM CDT
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When in doubt, sit them out.
When in doubt, sit them out.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - It's about that time again: the time for high school football players to hit the field and hit each other. That can lead to some serious injures. Concussions are a common injury associated with the sport, but Valley athletes and coaches say they are doing what they can to stay safe.

"We have too many, I can tell you that, but it's all part of the game," said Huntsville High coach Scott Sharp. "We probably have five or more a game. It all depends."

Sharp said every year his players are given a test to diagnose concussions before the season starts and they are given the same test if they are hit too hard during a game. Huntsville High senior Cale Kreger suffered a concussion during the season last year.

"I actually got blindsided to the back of my head, and I came off and I was feeling bad," he said. "It felt like a normal hit. My head was rattling and stuff and I started getting really depressed."

Dr. Michael Cantrell said he sees a frequent amount of players come in with those same symptoms.

"The common symptom of a concussion is that the player just doesn't feel right," he said. "So they might have mood changes have some trouble with memory. Over the next few hours to days they might have things like irritability, sensitivity to light, things like that."

Sharp said he's teaching his players different tackling techniques that can help prevent injuries.

"We have to make sure we are doing a great job with our guys talking about leading with the shoulder and not getting the head involved in the tackle."

As the season continues, Sharp said it's best to go with the phrase 'when in doubt sit them out.'

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