By Alexander Pyles
The Baltimore Sun
4:20 PM EDT, April 4, 2014
Calvert Hall football coach Donald Davis and 20 other coaches and former players will participate in a USA Football safety workshop this weekend in Indianapolis.
Instructors at the the two-day Heads Up Football program will teach Davis and others concussion recognition and response, heat and hydration protocols, proper equipment fitting and Heads Up tackling techniques.
"The health and safety of every youth and high school football player is our No. 1 priority,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said in a statement. "We are proud to have this group assist us in leading America’s youth and high school football community as USA Football Master Trainers.
"With direction from experts in medicine and sport, we are committed to set important standards rooted in education for the benefit of our young athletes."
Participants will receive USA Football Master Trainer status upon completing the workshop.
The certification will allow Davis, a football coach for 17 years, to instruct youth leagues around the region and teach high school-appointed Player Safety Coaches, who will be responsible for directing the safety program at their school.
Davis, who could not immediately be reached for comment, is one of two participants from Maryland; Wallace Carr, a longtime football coach from Mount Airy, is the other.
Nearly 2,800 youth football leagues registered for Heads Up Football in 2013. A pilot program is being tried in 35 high schools across 10 states, including Landon in Bethesda. USA Football is offering its Heads Up Football program to all youth leagues and high schools in 2014.
Organizations that support the program include the American College of Sports Medicine, National Athletic Trainers Association, Korey Stringer Institute, the NFL and the Big Ten Conference.
Critics of the Heads Up Football program have said it is little more than a marketing ploy meant to combat declining youth football participation in the wake of greater concussion and traumatic brain injury awareness.
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