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JEANNETTE (KDKA) – With the band playing and the cheerleaders getting the crowd pumped up Tuesday night, the Jeannette Jayhawks are ready for the state championship game on Thursday against the Homer-Center Wildcats at Hersheypark Stadium. However, the game isn’t the only thing on parents minds.
“It’s always a worry anytime they go out but they love the game and you just hope for the best,” said parent Melissa Felbaum.
They’re worried about one of their kids getting hurt, like Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier who suffered a spinal injury during Monday night’s game in Cincinnati.
“It’s just devastating because that could happen to anybody at any given time and it’s unfortunate but it comes with the game. You know it could happen at any time,” said parent Terra Sanders.
KDKA’s John Shumway Reports:
According to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control last January, a total of 28 deaths occurred due to spinal and brain injuries from 2005 to 2014 in amateur football. Twenty four in high school and four in college. Linebacker and running back were the two most affected positions. However, some parents are more concerned about other types of injuries.
“I’m more concerned about concussions than I am tearing their backs up. As long as they’re keeping their heads up they should be all right,” said parent Eric Brandt.
Despite what happened to Shazier, these parents say they’ll let their kids dreams live on.
“It does worry me because there are so many injuries in football but these boys passion doesn’t stop them from playing,” said parent Katie Hartman.
“They love it so you just have to let them play,” said parent Brenda Rugh.