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March 26, 2009

Teen’s football injury

The recent $3 million settlement between Lafayette County C-1 School District and the Frith family stemming from brain injuries suffered by their son Zach highlights the need for education about concussions (3/22, A-1, “Teen’s football injury reshapes future, family; Zach Frith was allowed to keep practicing after a concussion. Now he suffers permanent brain damage”). A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). It cannot be trivialized as a ding. Understanding this is the beginning of long-overdue serious discussions of this common injury.

MTBI is characterized by alterations in brain chemistry that often cause headache, dizziness and difficulty concentrating with potential long-term effects. Athletes must not play at all until fully recovered. Otherwise, they risk permanent brain damage or death from a second, even mild, impact.

If there had been greater understanding of the consequences of MTBI, Zach’s outcome most certainly would have been different. Education is the key. MTBI education for coaches and athletes should be mandatory.

We applaud Zach and his family for their courage in coming forward with their story.

David D. Dyck Jr., D.O.
Lori A. Boyajian-O’Neill, D.O.
Center for Concussion Management, Mid America Sports Medicine and Wellness at Centerpoint

How sad that a child’s future is jeopardized by continuing to play football before recovering from concussion. But where is the wisdom in giving this child a Cadillac “because he’s suffered so much?”

This is a child with no impulse control. He may be good at the mechanical aspects of driving, but he puts his fist through the living room wall, assaults his father and rages so violently that his parents lock their other children in their bedrooms for safety. His response to people who “piss (him) off” is, “Well, I’ll fight them, dude.”

Giving this child a two-ton automobile is as irresponsible as his returning to football practice. Both decisions are heedless of the consequences. What if this child becomes enraged and, instead of hitting the wall, jumps in his Caddie? What if someone cuts him off on the highway?

Please. We already have one sadly and irreparably damaged child. Where is the sense in allowing this child to act out his rage with a large automobile and damage other mothers’ sons and daughters?

Linda Brown


zach frith

You guys act like you really have an idea of whats going. The cadillac cts has to be one of the safest cars ive driven navigation sensors traction control 4 wheel drive you gotta be a pretty terrible driver to wreck that car its not a "weapon" what would of been the difference in getting a different car i could of got a lighter one but in my opinion if something were to occur i would be safer in my car. Ive progressed alot the article was quite over done.

Zach Frith


Wow, NM. You sure do hate LJ. Not a big fan myself and I tend to agree with you regarding the thug mentality in sports. Great use of the aptly put word "A$$clown". One of my favorite derogatory terms.

The incident allegedly took place at the 3800 block of Main. I guess that is were the Grand Emporium was. Breaks my heart to see that what was once a national mecca for blues has sunk to just one more hangout for wannabe thugs.


Example: Look at this a$$clown wannabe.



Sad, but money, status, greed and self importance being the ingredients of focus defining success in society. Sports falls right at the top of that mix. EVERY parent thinks their kid is a superstar. Story reminds me of Billy Bob in Varsity Blues.


After reading the article, it appears the settlement was completely justified. The kid was 14 when the blow occurred, the doctor he was sent to said that he should NOT be practicing or playing for a few weeks, the mother submitted the doctor's instructions to both the school and the coach, and yet when the kid still showed up for practice (without mom's knowledge), the coach let him continue practicing. At 14, kids will do stupid things, which is why we have adults in charge to direct their actions.

Injuries will happen when playing football, it's the nature of the game, but the post-injury actions of the coach appear to be completely negligent.

Additionally, I have to agree with Ms. Brown. If your child's injuries cause lack of impulse control, uncontrolled anger, etc. it's probably not a good idea to buy him a 4,000 weapon.

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