Muscogee Co. works to keep athletes safe from head injuries -, GA News Weather & Sports

Muscogee Co. schools work to keep athletes safe from head injuries

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The NFL is facing a lawsuit from 75 former players claiming the league covered up the harmful effects of concussions since the 1920s.  With high school practice starting in less than 2 weeks, some parents and players may worry about safety in this violent sport.

Stephens, whose oldest son, Jarvis Jones, is a former Carver High School player and now a starting linebacker for the Georgia Bulldogs understands why parents worry about injuries like concussions.

"For parents who have never participated in the sport it just looks like a bunch of guys violently hitting each other out there," said Stephens.

However, he says he trusts the training his son's had.

"The equipment they're using these days, the conditioning prior to their competition that the schools are putting the kids through."

Even still, Carver Head coach Dell McGee says the game and the kids playing it are a lot different now than they were years ago.

"Kids are getting bigger and faster and stronger and equipment is better but at the same time, that mass and speed is a big cause of those concussions," said McGee.

McGee says the Muscogee County School District puts coaches through classes to know what signs to look for and what questions to ask if they think a player could have a concussion.  With good equipment and training from the beginning, McGee says injuries can be prevented.

"You don't want your head in the contact, and actually, you want to make sure you're hitting with your shoulder pads and making sure you keep your face mask in the head, and make sure your head is up," said McGee.

Stephens says it is important to check safety equipment every year to make sure if it is still strong enough to stand up to the hits in a game. 

McGee says if a player does get a concussion during the season, he will not be allowed to get back on the field until he is cleared by a doctor.

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