As his Eagle teammates were scoring touchdowns Friday, Zionsville Senior Kyle Langford was stuck on the sidelines.
"We have put in all of the work this summer so it is no fun to have put in all the work and not play in the first contest," said Langford.
"Chinstrap snapped, my helmet flew almost all the way off of my head," said Langford. "I started getting a headache and then it went downhill."
To cut down on concussions a state law has been implemented. Now, there is a step-by-step process that must be complete before a player sets foot back on the football field.
"Sometimes you are not the most popular person and it is tough, but it is always important to protect the student athletes," said Zionsville Athletic Director Greg Schellhase.
There is more on the plate of high school football officials too. Not only to they have to watch the action on the field, looking for penalties and where to spot the ball, they have to watch every player, to make sure they are not showing concussion-like signs. It is also the job of athletic trainers, like Nancy LaFon, to watch for players who get a little too shaken up.
"Any signs or symptoms of concussion precludes them from playing, anything at all," said Zionsville Trainer Nancy LaFon. "Even something like a simple headache."
Kyle's dad Bryan Langford is now in a challenging spot, wanting his son to play, but also wanting to keep his son safe.
"His professional career is not going to be football, and even if it were, we are more concerned about Kyle," said Bryan Langford.
As for Kyle, he is counting down the days until he can be back on the field again.
"I am very anxious to get back on the field," said Kyle Langford. "It is no fun when you can not play after you put in all of the work."
One concern some parents still have is the role of the officials. According to IHSAA's suggested concussion guidelines, a referee can effectively bench a player who may be suffering from a concussion. Parents we talked to say they like the added awareness, but worry referees might have too much on-the-field power.
More information on the new law effecting Indiana athletes is available online.
Some football players sidelined as new concussion law takes effect
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