Monday night, Dallas Center-Grimes star Austin Kloewer left the Mustangs’ playoff game with a concussion.
Kloewer’s helmet appeared warped from impact.
Concussion concerns threaten the unprecedented popularity of football. The NFL continues paying for the struggles of retired players, but the problems start long before the paychecks.
The NFL funded a recent study on head injuries and found that high school football players are suffering concussions at the highest rate.
The study shows that per 10,000 exposures, high school football players suffer a concussion at a staggering rate of 11.2 percent. Almost, twice more than any other high school sport or college football.
“There is a big difference between the physical developments of one high school athlete versus another,” Dr. Dennis Zachary says. “You see that with injuries in general. Injuries occur because of the physical development that you might have.”
The study echoes what many doctors have believed for a while. There is no way to prevent concussions, but training techniques continue to evolve.
“It`s changed over time. Recently though, which I like better, is if a kid has a concussion they`re done, Done for the game,” Dr. Zachary says.
But Hawkeye team physician Dr. Andy Peterson says the sport is “the safest it’s ever been.” Adding, “Last year among 4.2 million football players there were only two traumatic deaths on the field. We`ve done a pretty good job of decreasing the risk in football.”
Starting this fall, the Iowa State High School Athletics Association implemented a concussion class that all coaches have to take.
“It used to be you`d have to find the kid now the coaches are sending them to you,” Dr. Zachary says.
The recommendation for players is that if you are experiencing symptoms don`t try and be superman, find a trainer and get the right treatment.
As for the player with the warped helmet, Austin Kloewer; doctors have told him to rest. He says he’ll be back with the Mustangs next season.