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Education

Athletic trainers to assess injuries in Southern Tier high school football

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WBFO News file photo
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WBFO News

The Buffalo Bills announced that athletic trainer grants are now provided to 12-southern tier high schools.  The NFL Foundation matched a $25,000 grant from the Ralph Wilson Foundation.   This allows the Western New York Amateur Football Alliance to provide athletic trainers. WBFO'S Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley says game day medical coverage is provided on the football field.

"One of the most important things is knowing the individual athletes and being able to assess them acutely to determine what the extend of the injury is," said Scott Dinse, Director of Athletic Training and Physical Therapy at UB MD Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. 

These grants are providing the 12-Southern Tier schools with special training coverage at home and away varsity football games.  It was implemented this past fall (2014) and will begin again for the 2015-season.   The schools include Westfield/Brocton.  In September of 2013, 16-year-old Damon Janes, a Brocton running back,  died  three days after suffering a serious brain injury during a game.

"Most kids who participate in athletics can suffer a simple headache, from dehydration , where they are playing and it's 10'o'clock at night and they haven't eaten since lunch time, or they have a common cold.  There's a ton of reasons why you can have a headache," stated Dinse.

Westfield/Brocton and 11-other southern tier schools lacked a certified athletic trainer.  These grants provide the schools with someone who is  ready to deal with field injuries and manage mild traumatic brain injuries.  Dinse tells WBFO News the trainers will now provide the proper expertise.

"Plus the job of the coach is to coach and he or she -- you know whatever sport -- especially football -- can't manage the game and keep track of the game and access a person on the sideline.  That's the role of the athletic trainer," noted Dinse.

The Bills announced the grants on the same day the parents of Janes filed a lawsuit.  The suit alleges the school district's coaching staff was not trained to identify the signs of concussions or how to handle a serious health emergency.  Janes remained in play for three quarters before he collapsed. 

Other schools receiving the training grants include Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Dunkirk, Fredonia, Gowanda, Falconer/Cassadaga Valley, Sherman/Clyer, Maple Grove/Chautuauqa Lake, Panama, Ellicottville/Franklinville, Silver Creek/Forecstville and Southwestern. 
 

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