Coaches test for past, prepare for future head injuries - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Coaches test for past, prepare for future head injuries

Before they suit up, they must first sit face to face with a computer screen to take a test. Before they suit up, they must first sit face to face with a computer screen to take a test.
Detering says brain injuries are difficult to recognize. Detering says brain injuries are difficult to recognize.
Players take the test as freshmen and then again as juniors. Players take the test as freshmen and then again as juniors.
The computer tests challenge the player's memory, reaction time and ultimately give experts a base line. The computer tests challenge the player's memory, reaction time and ultimately give experts a base line.
It's a different era for football since Randy Smith took the field as a player. It's a different era for football since Randy Smith took the field as a player.
ANNA, IL (KFVS) -

Football season at Anna-Jonesboro high school means players come face to face with their rivals under the Friday night lights.

But before they suit up, they must first sit face to face with a computer screen to take a test.

"It gives us a little bit better understanding, we take it slowly," says Brett Detering, Anna-Jonesboro Head Football Coach. "Ultimately, the kids safety is our main priority."

The computer tests challenge the player's memory, reaction time and ultimately give experts a base line.

Then, if the players are suspected of having a concussion, they're given the test again, and their answers are compared to that baseline.

"It's not difficult things, but whether or not you can recognize them, whether or not your brain can recognize them, those are the things it is looking for," he said.

Unlike a broken bone or twisted ankle, coach Detering says brain injuries are difficult to recognize. And, that's where the tests come in.

"Occasionally when a parent think that their son is ready to come back, but he can't seem to get the test to back him up, it becomes a little bit frustrating," he said. "But again, if we error, we error on the side of caution."

It's a different era for football since Randy Smith took the field as a player.

"You got hurt, you got back in and you played again," said Smith. "It's not like now, where these guys get hurt, they set them out and get an okay by the doctor to come back in."

Today, he says that he can watch his son without worrying about him suffering from an unknown concussion.

"I think they take it serious now," said Smith.

Players take the test as freshmen and then again as juniors.

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