By: Zoë Landron & Sidney Davis, Staff Writers
It’s the 2nd quarter, right before halftime. You’re in position to catch the ball when all of a sudden, you’re lying on the ground and a group of people are standing over you. Your head’s throbbing and there’s a disoriented view of the scoreboard. Do you get back on your feet, or do you stay down?
Junior Javaun James, number 27, was injured during the military appreciation day football game and was pulled away on a stretcher.
“I didn’t see the guy that was coming; I was paying attention to the guy with the football.” James said.
There have been rumors circulating that James broke his collarbone and/or had a concussion, but rest assured he’s fine.
“I was told by my coaches that I had a concussion, but the people in the hospital told me I was just hit in the head really hard.”
Head football coach Gregory Defrancesco disagrees with the hospital staff, but has confirmed that James has returned to the team as a running back.
Defrancesco clarified, “He actually played last Friday. He recovered very quickly. By the time he got to the hospital, the doctors said he didn’t have a concussion… You had to be there to see it; he had a concussion.”
According to momsteam.com, there’s annually around 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions in the US alone.
Defrancesco said, “Once you have a concussion, you have to take a mandatory five days to recover before you can start conditioning, but he got through that super quickly and is fine.”
James couldn’t simply jump back onto the team, however; he had to take cognitive tests as well as conditioning. He passed through these phases quickly, and came back on the fifth day of his absence.
Even though James wasn’t gone for long, his team was definitely affected by his absence.
Defrancesco said, “It actually did affect us quite a bit. There were a couple special packages–formations–and they had unique skills that not having them made us unable to do certain things.”
What’s done is done, however; the main questions that remain are: ‘What can we learn from this and how can incidents like this be avoided in the future?’
Defrancesco admits, “There was, actually, helmet-to-helmet contact on the play. Javaun was blocked by a Byrd kid and hit him. He’s [the Byrd kid is] running 40-50 yards full speed and hit Javaun on the side of his head. It wasn’t intentional. If his [the runner’s] head had been up, it could have been avoided.”
Injuries happen in a sport, that’s a risk athletes take in order to play the game.
We can’t go marching over to L.C. Byrd and demand that their football players work extra hard to keep their heads up, but we can try to set an example for those who go against our team.