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Update: Local Coaches Question Law Limiting Football Practice

Deerfield High and Lake Forest High School Coaches have concerns over state Rep. Sente’s proposed law limiting football practice activities.

(Update at 7:25 p.m.)—Deerfield High School football Coach Steve Winiecki likes the effort of state Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) to limit athletic injuries but also agrees with Lake Forest High School Coach Chuck Spagnoli the approach might not be the right way to go.

“I applaud her concern over the safety of athletes but it’s very difficult to know how (the law will) define tackling,” Winiecki said. “At Deerfield we teach form tackling,” he said, wondering if those drills would be limited to once a week.

Should the law be passed, Winiecki also expressed apprehension some coaches might put too much emphasis on a lot of contact at once. “If they do drills that are just hitting, hitting, hitting it’s physiologically worse for the body,” he said.

When told Spagnoli’s concerns if tackling skills are not practiced consistently, Winiecki agreed. “He’s 100 percent correct,” Winiecki said.

(Update at 3:45 a.m.)—Lake Forest High School football Coach Chuck Spagnoli criticized proposed legislation by state Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) to limit tackling practice to once a week.

Spagnoli opposes the idea because he believes drills designed to teach players proficiency at football skills must be accomplished on a consistent basis to have them done well and avoid injury.

“The idea is to avoid injuries,” Spagnoli said. “If you want to do that (tackling and other skills) must be taught, practiced and executed consistently like anything else you do.”

(Earlier at 1:09 p.m.)—About 100 people attended a community forum Monday at Vernon Hills High School on the dangers of concussions and brain injuries triggered by school sports, football in particular, reported the Vernon Hills Review.

The forum, which included coaches, players, parents and a seven-member panel of athletic and medical experts, was hosted by 59th District State Rep. Carol Sente, whose House Bill 1205 calls for increased sports safety measures.

One of the goals of Monday's forum was for Sente to get feedback to help her determine how to proceed with the legislation.

Neuropsychologist Beth Pieroth, of NorthShore University Health System, said the medical community disputes current criteria used to diagnose concussions, according to the Vernon Hills Review.

"Plenty of guys who play football, even professionally, have no injuries or problems," Pieroth said. "Some people are predisposed to injuries. In 10 years, we will be genetically testing kids to see if they are susceptible to certain injuries."

Resident Bart Newman said he was injured playing college football and continued to play because no one noticed any difference. He said coaches and parents can't rely on athletes to tell them when something is wrong, reported the Vernon Hills Review.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recently approved new rules for the 2013 football season in an effort to minimize player injuries related to helmets coming off during games, reported Patch.

New Rules Approved to Minimize Injury to High School Football Players

marco sangria February 27, 2013 at 01:38 PM
helicopter leaders. work on the state budget/deficit and leave the local issues at the local level. There are plenty of parents aware of the risks associated with any sport.
Stevie Janowski February 27, 2013 at 06:16 PM
First Brad " I am a jew but ironically want to raise taxes and made no income last year" Schneider wins over Bob Dold, and now this idiot wants to scale back football? Come on Carol are you stupid? No one vote for this lady next time around. Lets just play scarastaball ( south park watchers will know what I am talking about) Sorry to come off strong, but Stevie is angry
Tony Soprano February 27, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Spagnoli's a boss, why does the left think government needs to control every aspect of everything. We can play sarcastaball, instead of tackles we can have hugs and instead of footballs we can use balloons.
Scott Ellis February 27, 2013 at 10:54 PM
I think there is a lot of new evidence that suggests the potential for permanent damage to developing neurology is far greater than previously believed. However, I agree that limiting practice is an absurd way to control it. The sport should be banned in schools altogether.
Stevie Janowski February 28, 2013 at 04:52 AM
HAHAHA go to Europe and watch soccer you clown.

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