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Many Student Athletes Hurt Playing Football

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Original Title:
Football Injuries Tops Among Young Athletes

Serious injuries to at least two youth football players in recent weeks may have parents worrying whether the sport is too violent.

There is no doubt that as a contact sport, football players can get hurt. "I've had four or five concussions," admits Sacramento City College linebacker Doug Richmond. He said getting hurt is a risk associated with the game, not that it makes it any easier for parents. "The one time she [mom] took me to the hospital for a concussion and she was freaking out, 'You're never playing football again!' I was like, 'Mom, mom, it will be okay.'"

Richmond's coach said players can be taught to minimize the risk of injury with proper instruction and practice. Mike Clemons also said that in his 34 years of coaching high school and college football, the kind of life-threatening injury East Union High School football player Matthew Van Gelderen experienced is unusual. "It's been rare, would be the term I would use," said Clemons. "Very rare that something serious like that would happen."

If it's any comfort to parents of football players, the organized sport that sends more young athletes ages 5 to 14 to the doctor or hospital is basketball, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Football is second and then baseball.

One-half to two-thirds of all sports injuries to children happen during practice, not games.

"It's part of the risk," said Sacramento City College football linebacker Marques Morgan. "But there's risk in walking across the street so you might as well live life and have fun."

(This story was provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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