BROCTON, N.Y. (WIVB) - A promising life came to an end at the age of 16, after his glory on the football field took a sudden and tragic turn. Family, friends and the community will gather on the Brocton Football Field later Wednesday, to remember Damon Janes, who died after he was severely injured during a game. It has put the spotlight on safety in school sports.
Janes died as a result of injuries he suffered on the football field Friday night. We still don't know exactly when or what exactly happened on that Friday night that led to his death. Head injuries and concussion awareness has been in the forefront of football in general, especially with the NFL and the NCAA, which has trickled down into the high school level, in hopes of preventing another tragedy.
At Section 6, which is based at Erie 1 BOCES, officials go through extensive training in what to look for if they believe an athlete suffers a head injury during a game, including seven different hours-long sessions during a season. They also need to pass a national federation exam.
If an official feels an athlete has a concussion or head injury, an official can now rule they are not allowed to return to play, they even overrule school trainers. Signs such as dizziness, inability to focus and a change in speech are symptoms officials and coaches should look for. When it comes to parents, Section 6’s Executive Director says they need to be honest with themselves.
Section 6 Executive Director Timm Slade said, “If they think their student or child has signs and symptoms of a concussion, they need to make sure they do not play. And that's hard to do, because obviously the student wants to play, that's why they're on a team and they might not be sharing signs, but they need to look for that.”
New state legislation was also adopted last year that gives schools requirements and recommendations when it comes specifically to head injuries.
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