The ‘Catch 22’ of High School Football


Almost everybody loves high school sports. Whether it be bundling up in warm sweaters for a late fall football game, or jumping up and down in the bleachers for a nail-biting afternoon game. However, there are consequences for high school sports those flaws include sports-influenced injuries; fractures, strained muscles, and the most talked about injury of them all, concussions.

For a long time professionals have debated the safety of high school sports as well as professionals in worldwide leagues. Often, sports fans will see their favorite professional player knocked to ground, and then having trouble getting up. If taking a hit has that big of an impact on well-trained athletes, then one can only imagine how tough it is for a high school student whose body has not been conditioned to the degree of a professional athlete to take a hit.

Unfortunately, recent tragic events speak further to this argument. A New Jersey high school football quarterback, Evan Murray who attended Warren Hills Regional recently died shortly after taking a hit on the field. The autopsy reports that he suffered form severe internal bleeding, partially due to an enlarged spleen.

This catastrophic event is just one among many injuries caused by sports. This September, two JV football players from Union Mine High School in California were hospitalized with severe brain injuries. While occurrences such as these are not uncommon, they make us wonder if there is anything that we can do to prevent sport related injuries.

With regard to protective equipment, there is no 100% concussion-proof helmet. However, as technology becomes more advanced, helmets have become more and more preventative and durable to take these collisions.

The countering argument for this that supports sports is quite strong. It is known that high school athletes do obtain lifetime benefits from participating in sports that non-athletes do not. These benefits include better paying jobs and stronger memories. This is the ‘Catch 22’ of high school football.  There is no right solution or way around this debate right now. This argument will continue, but providing a 100% safe environment for athletes is simply impossible. Unless innovation in advanced protective equipment is made, high school football will continue on as per tradition.