The first high school football practice of the season started off in a computer lab at Christian Life High School.
The players were taking what’s known as an IMPACT test. It’s a test that measures each players’ neurocognitive or brain function when they’re fully healthy. These test results will be used as a baseline during the season to measure against future tests when a player is suspected of having a concussion.
This test is now mandated by the IHSA.
(Bill Shepard, C. Life football coach) “I think the state has done a really good job of introducing to the public the safety of football and making sure that we’re doing things correctly<‘ says Christian Life football coach Bill Shepard. “In fact within the last five years we’ve done more for the safety for football to try to get it ready so that kids can play and can enjoy it.”
“Football is a tough sport to play, but it’s good that the state and everybody at school, coach Shepard, Mr. Sheley (Athletic Dir. Justin Sheley) want to keep us safe, but you know I want to get out on the field soon,” says Christian Life football player Johnathan Perry.
At Auburn High School the Knights were out on the field Monday morning. The Knights will follow the same concussion testing steps before they start contact work.
“Our trainer is going to individually baseline test all of our kids which we haven’t done here before,” says Auburn coach Dan Appino.
Not only that, but the Rockford Public Schools are taking things one step farther.
Our district has also adopted something, the Insite Technology Program with Ridell in which basically a dozen players on each of the four RPS teams is going to wear the helmet that’s got an indicator, a computer chip if you will, that records all hits and sends the hit level to the trainer if it’s in a dangerous zone level. We’re trying to do everything that we can to be preventative in that measure,” says Appino.