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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — After Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field this week, some parents may have safety concerns for their children in the sport.
Jamestown High School’s head football coach Thomas Langworthy understands the anxiety, and is working to alleviate fears.
“I think as a parent, I’m a parent to two young boys that play football and a coach, it does make you think and evaluate your processes and procedures not only on the field but with how you would react to that same situation,” said Jamestown High School’s head football coach Thomas Langworthy.
It’s not just Coach Langworthy who is looking to improve safety measures.
“In recent years there have been a lot of different measures that coaches have taken and different strategies, techniques and drills that coaches have used to make football a safer game,” explained Langworthy. “Our practices during the week are very low contact and we have found ways to practice tackling, practice blocking, where we’re not doing it with another person and we’re not taking people to the ground and there’s minimal contact at all or no contact. We try to have no contact at all with our head.”
The padding and protective gear players must wear have drastically improved over the last decade.
“Just the helmet alone is a whole conversation because the technology with the helmets and the way that the helmets fit and the way that you put them on and fasten them is incredibly different than they were ten years ago,” said Langworthy. “I think this instance, if you’re speaking of the Damar Hamlin instance, is extremely rare from the research that I’ve heard and some of the interviews that I’ve heard, I think it said this only happens about 30 times a year in the United States.”
In the end, the coach assures parents that there is really no reason to worry about the safety of the game, at least in Jamestown, as all staff on the field put safety first.
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