Are Student Athletes Safe?

Kali Reed, Reporter

 In light of the recent event of Buffalo Bills’ player, Damar Hamlin, having to be resuscitated on the field during a Monday Night NFL game, we at the Devil’s Advocate wanted to make sure our student athletes would be taken care of in the event that they get injured while participating in school sports.

We spoke to Leominster High School Athletic Director, David Palazzi to ensure that our student athletes are protected.

Palazzi explained that the MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association) has specific rules requiring medical professionals at all sporting events.

With contact sports such as football, wrestling, and ice hockey, the game is not allowed to start without a certified trainer, doctor or EMT present.

Palazzi said he elected to have EMTs at more contact sports than the 3 required. The EMTs are also at baseball, basketball, and lacrosse.

At LHS, an athletic trainer goes to all of the games, JV and Varsity, for every sport. 

When a student is severely injured, 911 is called immediately and the trainer will take care of them until EMTs arrive.

If there are multiple sports happening at once, then the more contact sport would get the priority of the trainer. 

LHS football player Logan Arce being stretched out by LHS strengthening coach Matt Schiller. (Gabriel Malundas)

Our athletic trainer only goes to home events. When LHS teams travel to other highschools, it is the other team’s responsibility to provide medical assistance.

Fortunately for our athletes, all coaches, per MIAA rules, are required to know CPR, how to administer first aid, and also perform a concussion test.

At all sports facilities that Leominster athletes play at such as Lassie League Field, Doyle Field, and Leominster High School, there are also AEDs (automated external defibrillators) that all coaches know how to use. 

These are primarily for when athletes are practicing since trainers are not present at every practice.

The student athletes at LHS are well protected if they were to sustain an injury while playing a sport.