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Monitoring concussions

With officials from the high school level all the way to the National Football League attempting to reduce the chance and affect of concussions, teams are on the lookout for any symptoms that mean a player might have the head injury.

The T.R. Miller Tigers are about to begin use of a progam that will test players before a concussion to measure their abilities and once again if they are injured to find out the severity of the injury.

Some teams such as the Escambia County Blue Devils do not have luxury of being able to use that type of test and have to do what they can to monitor concussions on their own.

Blue Devils head coach Mark Heaton said

“It’s a good situation for those kids and those coaches,” he said. “From just a medical standpoint making sure those kids are OK is always a top priority. The way I understand it is that they have a test that they are using with the help of their athletic trainer. That’s something we don’t have over here is a full-time athletic trainer, so it makes having anything like that tough for us.”

Without a full-time athletic trainer, the Blue Devils coaching staff has to keep a watch on their players during practices.

Heaton said that contact drills are when the coaching staff really looks out for their players to make sure nobody receives an unnecessary injury.

“We just try to follow the state protocol on checking on our kids,” he said. “We try and monitor them every day especially when we are doing contact drills to make sure all of our kids are safe. Anytime, a coach suspects a kid might have a concussion then they have to pull that kid out until he has been cleared by a medical doctor.”

With testing like T.R. Miller is using on the market, there is always hope that it could come to Escambia County High School to help the coaches and players.

Heaton said that if the chance ever comes to have an athletic trainer full-time then he would look into bringing the testing to his program.

“That is something we would love to do here,” he said. “I just pray that someday we have the manpower to be able to get that done.”