WJTV News Channel 12 - Concussion concerns for parents

Concussion concerns for parents, coaches following NFL settlement

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Broughton H.S. at Athens Drive H.S. Thursday night Broughton H.S. at Athens Drive H.S. Thursday night
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Cheering on her son, Tradd, from the stands at Athens Drive High School, Shannondoah Deaver is thinking about his safety.

"It's something that's on all of our minds all the time," she said.

As head of the Athens Drive football boosters, Deaver said she makes sure the team has the equipment they need to lower the risk of a concussion.

"All of our boys come home and they are sometimes beaten up a little bit," she said, "but we know that we have done everything, between our coaching staff, our school and our booster club to ensure that they have the best equipment we can afford for them."

Helmets are getting more advanced, but coach Dennis Gullick says learning proper technique is crucial, too.  That what he tries to teach these tiny mites of the Wake County Cowboys.

"Sometimes we get so caught up in the flow of the game, we could lose our technique," he said, "but I think that a good coach will continue to harp on that technique."

It's a technique Gullick said he didn't follow himself several years ago.  Playing in college, he suffered a concussion.

"You have to learn how to protect yourself, so I came in, I had my head down," Gullick said.  "I wasn't using the proper technique and somehow I missed the wrap, or the hit, and I hit my head on the ground."

Back at Athens Drive, Deaver said she wishes more schools were fortunate enough to have the gear that they have.

"Help us fund these programs," Deaver said, "because there are not many little boys who start out in Pop Warner programs that don't dream of playing on the big field.  That's reality in this country, so when you send them out there and they're not properly equipped, that is dangerous."

In a landmark decision passed down Thursday, the NFL will pay out $765 million to former players who suffered head trauma, those players claim, was a result of concussions suffered in game play.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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