Betsy Ross: High school football tragedies - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Betsy Ross: High school football tragedies

FOX19 -

If anyone asks me some of my favorite games I've ever covered I always mention a handful of classic high school football games right here in the Tri-State that I've had the privilege to watch.

That's why it saddens me to see the tragic turn high school football seems to have taken this season.

In the last three weeks there have been three deaths of high school players from injuries in games--one in New Jersey, one in Oklahoma and one in Louisiana.

According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina, five high school players died last season of injuries on the field. Seven others died of other causes such as heatstroke.

Football itself has been under tight scrutiny over its concussion protocol and this isn't the first time the game's been under a microscope because of injury.

More than a century ago President Theodore Roosevelt threatened to abolish football if it weren't made safer, so the 'flying wedge' formation was outlawed and rules were put in place to limit gang tackles in the hopes of reducing injuries.

Look, football isn't going to go away anytime soon: It teaches so many great life lessons and gives structure to young lives.

We are extremely fortunate to have coaches in our area like St X's Steve Specht who is on the USA Football Board of Directors, working to keep the game safe. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and his staff also hold a youth coaches' clinic each year to instruct coaches on the right way to teach the game.

What has happened this year on high school football fields is a tragic loss of young lives. Let's hope what is learned through these losses can prevent future tragedies.

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