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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s no secret that football is a tough sport. As the season kicks off, we spoke with players, coaches and trainers on the sidelines about concussions and safety.

This is a big topic on the national gridiron right now as the NFL is under scrutiny for medical issues associated with concussions.

“Pretty much, all that hit were helmets, and we just kind of folded from there,” said South Columbus lineman Cody Fowler.

Fowler had to sit out at the BB&T Jamboree because he suffered a concussion at practice a few days ago.

Medical responder for South Columbus Kim Gore said he thinks concussions are a growing problem, not because of improper equipment, but because kids are not tackling properly. He tells players to keep their heads up and away from direct hits.

“Keep up with these head injuries, and keep educating the kids to the impact that it will have on them,” Gore said.

“I just think there has been a little bit of an overkill factor on concussions. I’m not trying to make light of it by no means, because it’s a serious thing,” said Wallace-Rose Hill head coach Joey Price. “If we checked around with young people, if you went to soccer, you’d probably have more concussions.”

“I’m not fearful of it,” said parent Joseph Stanley. “I think the players are protected pretty well. You can get hurt just about doing anything, but football is a little bit more of a contact sport.”

Most other parents we spoke with agree that the possibility of injuries does not keep their kids off the field. Fowler agrees he won’t stop playing and hopefully advancing, but he’ll play smarter.

“The higher you get up, the more they take care of you, and I plan on taking care of myself a lot better,” Fowler said.

The Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act is in place to protect the safety of student athletes in North Carolina. The act focuses on education, emergency action, post-concussion protocol, and clearance to play again.


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