Hit hard: The Football team’s wave of concussions


Lexie Davila

The football team has been impacted by concussions this season.

Isabel Westerlund, Social Media Editor

With football season halfway through, a new wave of concussions has washed over the team. One of Green Hope’s Athletic Trainers, Ms. Casey Williams, provided information regarding the safety of our student-athletes.

So far, the increase in concussions has kept the team on its toes–causing several key players to miss games due to injury. With a constantly changing lineup, the team has struggled to find its rhythm. Players are forced to take on new positions, which increases the chance of injury because they are playing an unfamiliar position.

Compared to last year, Williams noted that there has been a shift from muscular to head injuries. Football coach Chris Tolbert has worked hard to ensure a decrease in muscular issues, encouraging all players to stretch prior to practice and games. Williams noted that it is much harder for the coach to help players prevent concussions. She stated, “I provide them with all the information necessary to stay safe, such as not leading with the head, drinking water, and staying aware of their surroundings.” This is easier said than done due to football’s physical nature.

Williams says that it’s important to note that younger adults are more susceptible to head injury because their brains don’t fully develop until 25. To encourage safety, she has been preaching hydration and Coach Tolbert has enforced a policy that requires players to have a water bottle on them at all times throughout the day.

Players who take a hard hit or exhibit headaches, dizziness, or lack of familiarity or memory undergo an evaluation before returning to play. Players are evaluated by Dr. Jim Blount from Carolina Family Practice, who makes the final decision on whether or not a player can play. Williams stated that there is a standard of care practiced for concussions all across North Carolina, with a 5-day return to play protocol. However, she noted that it can sometimes take up to a month for the concussion to fully heal.

Concussions are a very worrying subject for players, parents, and coaches, but Green Hope is working hard to ensure the well-being of its student-athletes by educating them on the importance of player safety.