by Jonathan Bergman , Jared Glassman
The recent death of Evan Murray, quarterback for the Warren Hills football team, prompts questions about youth activity sports’ benefits in the face of potential injuries. Sports are intended to be a fun extra-curricular, but the risks included are weighed daily by student athletes and the professionals who support them.
In the U.S., about 30 million teens participate in some form of organized sports, and more than 3.5 million injuries occur each year, according to stanfordchildrens.org, the website of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, CA.
According to Athletic Director Ms. Sandra Mamary, sports injuries have increased over the last 10 years. Mamary said, “Athletes have gotten stronger and faster… [which] has led to more injuries.”
Like many sports, football warrants a high injury risk. “Every time you buckle up your helmet and step out on the field, you’re well aware of the risk that comes with it,” said senior running back Jack Curry, who added that he was taught that one of the best ways to avoid injuries was to not play with the fear of being injured.
There is a risk of long-term injuries, according to Mr. Chris Flores, WHS athletic trainer. Flores suggested that injured athletes consider their future: “When they are 40 years old, are they going to be able to walk and play with their children?”
Flores said that it is good to be cautious because “one issue is that kids have that myth of invincibility where they think they can play through anything.”
While most injuries aren’t fatal, athletes still consider the risk of injuries when they play sports.