The injury rates for high school football are higher than those in college and NFL football, according to the chairman of the medical advisory board of Arizona's High School Athletic Organization. Meanwhile, fewer than 40 percent of high schools have athletic trainers on staff.
"So you have 60 percent that are uncovered, that are uncared for, that don't have the valuable expertise available to them," said Dr. Javier Cardenas, of St. Joseph's Barrow. He told CBS 5 he would like to see every team have a trainer and have limits placed on full-contact drills during practice.
"Limiting the amount of contact during the week is an excellent way to reduce injury," said Cardenas.
It's a recommendation that is not universally followed, but one team that does limit contact during practice is the Desert Vista Thunder.
"We don't go all out very often, because when we do, we see hits," said head varsity coach Dan Hinds.
Hinds has seen firsthand how the game of high school football has changed. He won the state championship as a player in the early 1980s and again as a head coach in 2011.
"I've got to say probably the biggest thing is the players now. They're bigger. They're faster. They're stronger," said Hinds.
Those factors make collisions on the field harder and more dangerous.
According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury at the University of North Carolina, 14 players suffered serious brain injuries playing youth football in 2011. That was the highest number in 25 years.
"I remember before the game and a little bit of during the game and then not really anything for about a week after that," said Derek Curran, a senior from Kingman High School, who suffered a severe head and neck injury during a game on Oct. 26.
Curran has been hospitalized at St. Joseph's Barrow Neurological Institute since the night of the game. Doctors say he's lucky. He's expected to make a full recovery, but his future in football is over.
"To be honest with you, I just think it was one of those weird hits that knocked me just right, and it sucks now that I can't play," said Curran.
Curran's Kingman team plays the powerhouses in the state, even though it has fewer players and the ones they have tend to be smaller than the competition from the Valley.
Experts say the discrepancy of size between players in high school football can create a hazard. It's common to have players separated by 100 pounds playing the same game.
Arizona state law requires education on concussions and sets up mandatory medical evaluation for players who suffer concussions. Cardenas said that requirement has gone a long way toward making the sport safer. The worst injury can occur if a player suffers a second concussion before fully recovering from the first.
But Cardenas admits there are no requirements to track all football injuries. Barrow is beginning a program to monitor and track head injuries under his direction.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
By H. Gilbert Welch, Special to CNN updated 8:12 AM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013Editor's note: H. Gilbert Welch is a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical PracticeMore >
I first saw the headline early Tuesday on Real Clear Politics, a political news site where I generally start my morning. It's not where I expect to see a story on breast cancer.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:09 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:09:50 GMT
A train derailment was reported near the Bridgeport and Fairfield city lines Friday night. Few details have been released on the derailment, but the incident was reported around 6:30 p.m. in the area ofMore >
Dozens of passengers and employees were among those injured when two Metro-North trains collided near a station in Fairfield Friday night.More >
Thursday, May 16 2013 3:45 PM EDT2013-05-16 19:45:11 GMT
Police arrested a Toronto woman, who was trying to get into the charity polo match in Greenwich where Prince Harry was playing.According to police, Wen Qi, 36, was trying to enter the Conyers Farms PoloMore >
Police arrested a Toronto woman, who was trying to get into the charity polo match in Greenwich where Prince Harry was playing.More >
Witnesses in southwestern Virginia say a car has driven into a crowd at a parade. Several people appear to be hurt, but the nature of their injuries wasn't immediately known.More >
An elderly driver plowed into dozens of hikers marching in a Saturday parade in a small Virginia mountain town and investigators were looking into whether he suffered a medical emergency before the accident.More >
Inmates at jails in Indianapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia face the nation's highest levels of sexual abuse at the hands of guards, according to a new federal report based on surveys of inmates at...More >
Inmates at jails in Indianapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia face the nation's highest levels of sexual abuse at the hands of guards, according to a new federal report based on surveys of inmates at U.S. jails.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:58 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:58:37 GMT
Happy Saturday, Rain is on its way – as expected – but it will not hamper the entire weekend. Early this morning, there will be low clouds, fog and drizzle in many parts of Connecticut. This will haveMore >
Wednesday, May 15 2013 2:57 PM EDT2013-05-15 18:57:11 GMT
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well. An Arizona bakery was featured on Friday's episode of the Gordon RamseyMore >
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well.More >