Fall is in the air here in St. Louis, Missouri; the leaves are beginning to turn, kids are back and school, and the breeze is starting to cool.
One of the greatest American spectacles of fall can be found on the gridiron: football players—pee-wee, high school, collegiate, and professional—clashing at the line of scrimmage all across the country.
Sadly, with the spirit of toughness and competition that fuels the game comes a sad story that should grab our attention. You may have heard about concussion injuries and other personal injuries around football. Recently, the death of a Georgia high school player has grabbed national attention.
Sixteen-year-old football player DeAntre Turman died after what appeared to be a routine tackle during a scrimmage. Turman, a cornerback, tackled the opposing team’s tight end, then never got back up.
Blunt force head and neck trauma was the cause of the student’s death, having fractured a vertebra in his upper spinal cord.
This is a truly horrific way to begin the school year, and it reminds us all of the dangers that contact sports have for athletes of all ages. Turman had received a scholarship offer from the University of Kentucky and was one of the top football prospects in the state.
In St. Louis, take extra precautions when signing your children up to play football. Make sure they are taught how to tackle properly by coaches, have easy access to a well-trained medical staff, and are wearing the appropriate protective equipment.
Personal injuries should be taken seriously at all ages and all levels of athletic participation. Be sure coaches and team-staff have the necessary training and knowledge to keep your student-athletes safe.