The Mercury

Concussion Discussion

Image Courtesy of Cold Hollow Photography

Image Courtesy of Cold Hollow Photography

James Konrad, Mercury Writer

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High school sports are often times the focal point of the community in many ways.

This is especially so for the city of St. Albans.

The way the community almost seems to revolve around BFA’s sports is very exciting and often a very special thing to be a part of.

Recently another homecoming has come and past and the attendance this year seemed to be just as high as it always is. The abundance of green and gold in the crowd, and BFA chants carries a certain energy that many other schools strive for but struggle to achieve.

Now with this image in mind, picture fall in St. Albans, without a homecoming. No pep rally, no parade, no floats, no homecoming king and queen, no football. Though this may seem like a stretch, it is not far off.

This due to the dwindling numbers in participation for the BFA football team.

Over the past few years BFA has seen minor drops in football participation, but this year especially, it is very evident.

There was a time when the entire BFA sideline would be entirely full of green and gold, nowadays the sidelines seem eerily empty.

This mainly attends to the great risk for various injuries that come with playing football. Football has always been one of the most dangerous sports, with contact occurring with every single play.

Sports such as hockey and lacrosse are also heavily contact driven, but there are several differentiating factors that separate the level of contact in these sports to that of football.

The sole objective of every play in football is to initiate contact with the opposition in one way or another, whether this be tackling, blocking or trucking another player. Whereas in other contact sports, the actual contact is not happening on every single play of the game. There is not a contact guarantee, as there is with football.

Various studies on the topic of injury, in football have surfaced in recent years.

This backs up the claims of the sport being one of the more dangerous by far.  

“A new study finds that high school football players are at the greatest risk of severe injury” (0.69 per 1,000 “athletic events”), accounting for fully 4 out of 10 (38.1%) of all severe injuries suffered in the nine sports studied,” as stated by Mom’s Team.

Several players at BFA have experienced injury through football, Tim Kennedy (18), was greatly affected last year by a concussion.

Kennedy has had a love for football all throughout middle as well as high school, even after his severe injury.

Kennedy missed out on two full weeks of school last year due to his head injury. Even when Kennedy was cleared to come back to school he still felt the affects of the concussion. “I spent most of my time wondering how I got to my classroom. And then thinking what just happened. But that was only the first few weeks back to school.” Kennedy said.

When asked to elaborate on the severity of his concussion Kennedy said, “It was pretty bad, I couldn’t read the next day. I was at the doctor’s office and they gave me this little children’s book and I couldn’t read it, I just couldn’t read it.”

Football will continue to be one of the most dangerous sports in the nation and though BFA’s football program has seemed to have significant drops in numbers, it will never die. There will always be a pep rally, a parade, floats, homecoming king and queen, and plenty of football.

The reason for that is the pure love of the sport will always outweigh the risk for injury in the eyes of the players that continue to stick with the game. The relationships that are created on a football team are like no other, it’s such a group driven game that this almost has to be the case.

Players like Kennedy who continue their dedication to football even through and after injury are what hold the program up.

When asked if he ever considered giving up football Kennedy answered with, “No sir, I love football too much.”

That’s what BFA football is all about, pure passion, love for a game and an endearment to a family, that will continue to grow and achieve greatness together.

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