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High School Football Safety – Improvements Keeping Players Safe

A Richwoods Sophomore football player remains in a medically induced coma on Wednesday after suffering a severe head injury during a football game on Monday.

Even with recent changes, those in charge of high school football in Illinois say serious injuries can be reduced, but not totally eliminated. While the Executive Director of the Illinois High School Association couldn’t comment on what happened to the Richwoods player, he did say he believes over all the state’s number of severe injuries is low.

“We’ve actually been pretty fortunate in Illinois to not have many catastrophic or death situations in Illinois.”

He says one of the main reasons for this is a strong set of rules that improve every year.

“We’ve come a long ways in regards to the safety over the last 7 to 8 years. and it continues to get safer in regards to rules writing.”

Specifically he points to rules involving a tackling technique called targeting which involves head to head contact. He says improvements have also been made with equipment like shoulder pads and helmets. He also says that coaches are now going out of their way to teach players safer ways to tackle.

” Because of the rules implemented our coaches are coaching players to keep their head out of the play. If it involves tackling, or running, going into collision with another player. The teaching of our coaches is to eliminate the head, use the shoulder pad, or use other parts of the body as opposed to using the crown of the helmet.”

He says the goal is to keep the sport so many love safe for high school athletes across Illinois and that the IHSA has the Richwoods boy in their thoughts.

There is no further update at this time on his condition, we will bring you updates when we get them.

Kaitlin Pearson

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