Lubbock school districts working hard to make football safer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock school districts working hard to make football safer

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Ronnie Kirk is the Director of Sports Medicine for LISD Ronnie Kirk is the Director of Sports Medicine for LISD
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Anybody who's watched the game of football knows that it's no walk in the park.

Unfortunately, injuries are part of the game. It's no surprise to see someone get a little banged up, and that can take a toll on the body.

The UIL keeps a close eye on football programs to ensure that player safety is a top priority.

Regulations say that high school programs in Texas can't have more than 90 minutes of full contact practice time each week.

Lubbock-Cooper head coach Max Kattwinkel says that with those UIL regulations and rules implemented by coaches, he has seen the sport come a long way.

"The game is getting safer," Kattwinkel said. "And it needs to, because all the athletes are coming through and they're getting faster and stronger."

Other practice time uses a half-speed approach to play.

For players, this means wearing only a helmet and shoulder pads and working through a small change of pace.

"On the days that we are going half contact or half speed, we make sure that our defense wraps up," Kattwinkel said. "We don't go at the legs or anything like that, so the contact is very limited on those days."

Ronnie Kirk is the Director of Sports Medicine for LISD and he's been around football long enough to know that these practices are crucial.

"There's a lot of teaching going on, so the more teaching, the better off they'll be. Technique is better." Kirk said.

But it's not just the UIL rules that are contributing to player safety.

LISD is taking an extra step to keep players off injury reserve and out on the field.

Lubbock is the only district in the state that is offering LISD athletes screenings to reveal heart problems players may not even be aware of.

"The cypress ECG project that does the cardiac screening for all our athletes... We're the only school district that does that in the state of Texas." Kirk said.

This small screening could make all the difference for athletes, said Kirk, in some cases even saving a life.

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