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Pisgah coach talks concussions after study shows they’re on the rise in football

Data shows football is one of the highest concussion-prone sports.

Posted: Oct 15, 2019 10:06 PM
Updated: Oct 15, 2019 10:38 PM

A new study found that overall, concussions in high school sports have gone down. However, specifically for football players, they're on the rise.

This comes as a student-athlete in Pisgah is recovering from a concussion sustained during his last varsity football game. The new data shows football is one of the highest concussion-prone sports.

"He hits the surface and his head kind of bounces pretty good, and he tries to get up, but then he goes down," Pisgah High School's head football coach, Luke Pruitt, said.

That's what Pruitt said happened just before one of his players had to be airlifted to Huntsville Hospital with a serious concussion.

"I knew by him laying there, face down, it was not good," he said.

A week later, that player is doing alright. He has to wear sunglasses outside, he's going to the doctor and he's taking a break from football until he gets the okay.

Pruitt said the concussion rattled some of the Eagle family.

"He had to get an IV on the field. It's the first time I'd ever seen that happen, and as a coach, you're trying to keep your emotions in check because you've got people around you," he said.

This isn't Pisgah High School Football's first concussion during play, but the coach said it's the most serious he's seen. New data shows their team isn't alone.

Boys' football sees the most concussions with ten per 10,000 players. Girls' soccer comes in second with eight per 10,000. Boys' ice hockey comes in third with 7.6 per 10,000.

Pruitt said to keep his kids safe, if a player shows symptoms or has a bad hit, they'll call for medical help. They also make sure their players have the right helmets and are checking their gear.

"This is a contact sport. We try to give them the best helmets, the best shoulder pads on the market today," Pruitt said.

The CDC says more than 800,000 traumatic brain injury-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths happen in children every year. The study showed cheerleading is the only sport where you're more likely to get a concussion during practice.

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