Jefferson County athletic director works to prevent concussions in young athletes

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – It’s football time in Tennessee. That means Big Orange fans at the ready and high school teams ready to make their own mark.

With the lights, marching bands, cheerleading squads and football teams, it’s hard to think of anything else, but Jefferson County’s athletic director is thinking about all of that and safety.

“We are reminded to look out for those safety issues. Whether it’s concussions, or sudden cardiac arrest training procedures. You never know when they’re going to pop up and how you’re going to handle those,” said Randy Rogers, assistant principal and athletic director at Jefferson County High School.

Rogers says there are specific guidelines for parents, players and coaches. These rules are based in education and prevention for student-athletes.

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association requires players, parents and coaches to agree to a “Signs and Symptoms of Concussions” form every season.

“Coaches are to have received concussion training yearly. Parents that have kids who have that play sports must sign a concussion paper explaining what a concussion is. The big thing too, in that, is the kids have to sign if they think they have those symptoms,” said Rogers.

This understanding goes hand-in-hand with athletic training at the high school level.

“A few times a week there’s somebody who has a head injury, the coaches send them to me. Sometimes it’s just minor, it’s just a headache. A headache alone isn’t always a sign of a concussion, but when it’s accompanied with other symptoms, that’s when you have to start making referrals to doctors,” said Jefferson County’s head athletic trainer, Dan Jurek.

The state’s concussion policy can be reviewed here.


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