Better Safe Than Sorry


Nyla Mcdowell and Emmanuel Beyer

It’s the New Year, and there has already been some major controversy regarding the serious injuries that have taken place throughout professional leagues. The damage rates these players are taking has slowly risen throughout the years, sky rocketing last year by double.

One of the most recent injuries was with the NFL league, on January 2nd of this year. Player Damar Hamlin, at only 24 years old, suffered from a cardiac arrest after being tackled by opposing player and receiver, Tee Higgins, during the playoff. Hamlin’s near death experience caused him to be hospitalized for almost a week and a half, damaging him severely for the rest of his life. These injuries are becoming more fatal by the day, exposing the reminder of just how important safety really is. 

As you dig deeper into the world of sports, you realize that the professional leagues are not the only players affected by the game. According to Wilx Sports, there were about 1,000 serious head injuries faced by high schoolers throughout Michigan. This is just a small portion , being throughout the 2022-2023’s season. Lake Shore finds it extremely important to keep a close watch on the health of our student athletes. Throughout the previous seasons, some Shorian athletes have unfortunately taken part in the portion of injuries throughout our state. 

Varsity football player,  Dylan Howard, was playing a game at Lake Shore and performed an incorrect tackle on his opposing player, snapping a bone in the process. Howard stated, “I tried to tackle the player with the ball and we both did a cartwheel in the air… I snapped my collar bone.” 

James Taylor, recently ended his season with a torn ACL and meniscus. Taylor gave a brief run-through of his injury.  “We were at Roseville, and the current score was  7-7. We were doing one on one’s, and I had cut for a break, causing my cleat to get stuck, so when I turned, my knee went the other direction… I didn’t feel it at first because of all the adrenaline.”

Taylor is still healing to this day, with an injury potentially affecting him for the rest of his school year.

Varsity player, Treshun Sanders, ended the season with a bruised rib, receiving medical attention later that day. Sanders stated, “Me and another player collided, and his pad ended up in my ribs… the impact bruised them severely.”  

Sanders completed physical therapy over the course of a couple weeks to get him back comfortable. 

Could this have been prevented, or is the sport too dangerous?

Most players answered with a yes to both.

Is there something these sports administrators can do to make it safer?

There has been discussion throughout the professional leagues about adding “Guardian Caps,” around their players’ helmets. This could reduce the risk of a concussion from 10% to 20%, that’s double. The Guardian Caps are similar to airbags, both absorbing the majority of a collision and reducing the impact on the player’s head. 

These would be great for our student athletes as well, anything preventing fatal injury is a need. Safety is really important, especially when it comes to our younger crowd of athletes, they are the future. This could also affect the current curriculum, with some recovery journeys  having a bigger impact on the student body than you think. 

For example, studies say that if a student experienced a serious enough concussion, he or she could experience academic difficulties for the rest of their life.

In conclusion, Guardian Caps, other added protective gear, and careful protocol, could be very useful when it comes to risky sports like football, or any other sport.

Better safe than sorry… right?