Scott: One of the awesome things about the back-to-school season is the start of fall sports, like football and soccer. But the death of one talented young athlete, caused by an injury on the field, has renewed concerns over players’ safety in school sports. Maggie Rulli has the story.
Maggie: These are some of Deantre Turman’s best moves. The sixteen-year-old Creekside High School junior was a top Georgia football recruit, and had a video ready for college scouts before his junior year even got started. During a preseason scrimmage last week, he made a routine tackle, something Deantre’s uncle, Kenneth Turman, said he has done many times before.
Kenneth Turman: Tackled the guy. Just a hard hit. Regular hit they say he made a thousand times, of course. It’s a football play.
Maggie: But after the tackle, Deantre didn’t get up. He was having breathing problems and was taken by ambulance to the ER.
Kenneth: We got the call when we were out there that he did pass on.
Maggie: The official autopsy showed Deantre Turman died from a broken neck. It was an absolute shock to the family who said he always passed his physicals and that he was only getting bigger and better.
The entire community mourned his loss. Deantre’s Facebook wall was flooded with remembrances, and hundreds came out to pay tribute Sunday night at a vigil held in his honor.
Deantre’s death has brought the issue of football safety back into the spotlight. High school football consistently tops the list of the most dangerous sports for serious injury. Five hundred thousand football injuries occur every year. That is twice as many as any other sport.
And while not all injuries can be prevented, there are some precautions that young athletes can take. Make sure to limit practice time to avoid overuse injuries. Stay hydrated and don’t practice in severe heat. And make sure you always wear proper equipment, including a helmet that helps prevent concussions.
Even though one of Creekside High’s star players won’t be on the field this year, the Turman family said they still plan on being in the stands.
Kenneth: I’m going to continue to support Creekside because that team needs to be supported. I think that’s what Tre would have wanted.
Maggie: Maggie Rulli, Channel One News.