A Loyal Catholic’s Mission To Protect The Church From Youth Football

All volunteer coaches must take courses on basic medicine and sports teaching methods. Football coaches must also attend nine hours of classes on football safety to get coaches to stop using out-of-date tackling methods they learned growing up, when head injuries were taken less seriously.

“The greatest asset in C.Y.O. is the quality of the coaches,” Moser said. “The greatest risk is the quality of coaches.”

One group of coaches met on a Saturday in July 2019 at Lake Catholic High School in Mentor, Ohio, about 30 minutes from Cleveland. Marty Gibbons, an alumnus and former college player, told three dozen volunteer coaches about new tackling techniques that focus on using the shoulder to minimize the risk of head and neck injuries.

“Everyone’s saying football’s going to be gone, so we have to adapt,” Gibbons said. “At the end of the day, you’re liable, so take care of your players.”

Tim Tyrrell, the football coach at Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, Ohio, told a group of 20 volunteer coaches at a different training session that the decline in the number of Catholic schools and the lack of national standards for teaching football have driven players to other sports and better organized leagues.

“It does hurt a little because it pulls kids away from the sport,” he said.

Despite the slow progress in getting his message across, Doyle said he would continue pressing his message to the church because the risks are so great.

“You’re now going through massive litigation for child abuse that you covered up, so you need to look at this issue as a church like you wish you had looked at the child abuse issue when it was first reported,” Doyle said. “You are a steward of children, and in retrospect you caused massive damage. I would hope they would look at this issue through the lens of what happened.”

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/14/sports/catholic-church-football-concussions.html

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