Joshua Reeson, Reporter

As many people know, football can be extremely dangerous. It is capable of putting people in wheelchairs, to comas or even death. But many companies are doing their best to make it safer for players. Olympia High School has also been doing the best they can to make football fun, but also safe for the players.

While concussions might not be the most common injury in football, it is treated with the most care and urgency. When coaches notice even the slightest symptom of a concussion that player is immediately. When a player is diagnosed they have to complete “a strict 5 step concussion protocol, and then get approved by either the athletic trainer or their doctor, before they are able to return,” says Head Football Coach, Coach Davis commented on the matter. To the coaches, safety is top priority over winning. “Every year the coaches receive special training in how to help prevent concussions and how to diagnose them to players and what to do when a player gets one,” says Mr. Roth, Varsity Defensive Back Coach (and Biology Teacher).

But it’s not only coaches who are doing everything in their power to make football safer, the school is also doing everything they can. According to Brandone Veley, a Junior, who plays Slot Receiver, “the school bought 30 extra Riddell Flex Speed helmets which are proven to be safer than almost any other helmet. And we’ve started doing yoga to help with flexibility to reduce the amount of injuries.” Nico Plus, a Junior who plays Wide Receiver, says that not only do they get more helmets, but “[they] not only get more helmets this year, but get better pads that have more security.”

It seems that the combined efforts of the companies who make the sports gear, the school keeping up and getting new gear, the special training that the coaches receive and the athletic trainer helping out ALL the injured players from every sport has made a positive impact on the team. Mr. Roth stated, “not many players sit out from injuries anymore. We’ve only had one player out earlier this year and only one player currently out this week (the first week of October).” Students have noticed this as well, Brandone Veley also says, “not too many players sit out from games or practice due to injuries.” Nico Pius stated, “maybe one player a week is out for a day or two due to a form of ankle injury (sprain, rolled, sore, etc) and only 2 players due to concussions.”

Overall football has changed dramatically over the last few years. “A Lot has changed, from our tackle style, pads and gears and even the way the coaches teach. We’ve changed focus from being more aggressive to being safer,” says Coach Davis.