Kudos to the Norwayne football team for taking a proactive approach to dealing with concussions.
Instead of starting out the 2011 season with footballs flying through the air, Bobcats coach Joe Harbour let the trainers from Wooster’s HealthPoint take over to run an NFL-style combine that included ImPACT concussion testing.
Perhaps the most thorough football testing ever in the area for a high school team, Harbour said it was an offer from HealthPoint’s health and wellness supervisor Mike Stoops and Dr. Chris Ranney from the Milltown Family Physicians that he couldn’t pass up.
“This concussion testing is gonna be big for us,” said Harbour, whose team did get in a traditional practice in the late afternoon. “This way if a kid gets dinged, we can have a lot better idea when it’s safe for them to return.
“We’ll have the raw data (baseline results) for doctors to look at and make a much more objective decision about when a player can return.”
Harbour said the Bobcats had more concussions than they should have last year, which led to team trainer Stoops coming up with the ImPACT testing idea. While he was at it, he decided to offer a complete team combine.
“Even though none of the concussions were real serious, we’re trying to be proactive,” said Harbour, whose team returns seven starters on both offense and defense from a 9-3 playoff team and is one of the preseason favorites to win the Wayne County Athletic League. “We’ve also brought in some different style helmets for some of our kids to try. That’s not saying the old brands weren’t good, but maybe a certain style will fit a kid better than another one.”