Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


Injury risks and slipping interest reshape high school football’s status in some districts

Read any sports coverage and list advantages and drawbacks of team athletics.
Try to find a quote from an athlete at any level that shows his or her emotions, or what it feels like to compete.
Look for news about another potentially risky activity. Discuss what’s done, or could be done, to make it safer.

A Friday night American tradition is changing – dramatically in some cases. Football-related injuries cause growing concern in school districts across the country, and many are debating whether to keep their teams. Schools in Maine, Missouri and New Jersey have canceled or cut short their seasons this year due to injuries or low student interest. The total number of high school students playing football across America has dropped by more than 25,000 over the past five years – although nearly 1.1 million teens still take the field.

Last year, five high school football players and one at the college level died directly from game or practice injuries. The total so far this year is three teens – including 17-year-old quarterback Evan Murray of Warren Hills Regional High School in Washington Township, N.J., who died from a lacerated spleen after being hit in a game Sept, 26. In Detroit, a high school junior is paralyzed after an accident during football practice in early September. Eddie Hammonds, 16, received a head and neck injury when he was tackled.

Various safety concerns exist. Older equipment and helmets in some district don't meet the same standards as in college or professional games, experts say. Another factor is that developing teenage brains are more susceptible to injury from concussions. Schools also have inconsistent standards, with some not requiring specialist trainers and paramedics at games.

This month's homecoming game at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School in Missouri will be a soccer match. The school dropped football as unsafe. So many players were hurt last fall that the team had to forfeit a game. Only 14 active players were on the roster at season's end, down from 40 seven years ago. "One of our students suffered a head injury that put him out the rest of the season," recalls the school board president, "and then we had at least one broken ankle."

20-year toll: 77 students have died from direct injuries during high school gridiron games since 1995, an average of just under four each year.

Parent says: "If he wants to play, he's going to play. . . . It's being able to watch your kid just enjoy what they enjoy doing." – Nicole Frey, Washington Township, N.J., talking about her 10-year-old, Tyler

Journalist says: “Coaches are having kind of a more difficult time attracting quality players" – Sean Gregory, Time magazine

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2015
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Injury risks and slipping interest reshape high school football’s status in some districts

VW trickery on exhaust tests creates a cloud over all ‘clean diesel’ vehicles

Inspiring guest: Pope Francis begins six-day U.S. visit Tuesday

Queen Elizabeth's 63 years as Great Britain's monarch set a historic record

Searching for safety: Hundreds of thousands make historic European migration from war zones

Backlash: Presidential hopeful Donald Trump antagonizes Hispanic voters and media

Barrier falls: First female Army Rangers show that strength comes in both genders

In the forecast: Extra warmth and wetness from a strong ‘El Nino’ weather pattern

Jon Stewart, a TV funnyman with a serious edge, earns wide praise as 16-year run ends

Is it a movie or real life? Learning the difference is entertaining -- and educational

Complete archive

Thank you Sponsors!

First National Bank of Texas
Community Bank & Trust
American Income Life
Buckeye Bingo
Diversified Product Development
Greg White Texas Appellate Lawyer
Heart of Texas Electric Co-Op
McLennan Community College
Total Office Solutions
Waco Habitat for Humanity

Visitor AgreementPrivacy StatementContact UsAdvertiser KitRSS Feeds

© Copyright 2013,, Waco, TX

No commercial reproduction without written consent.

Electronic reproduction of any kind prohibited without written consent.