Middletown High School's football team may be unstoppable on the field, but that doesn't make them immune to concussions.
On Jan. 28, the Cavalier's coach Mark DelPercio will present a new documentary, Head Games, to his team and their parents, emphasizing the latest reports on head trauma and concussions.
In the 2010-2011 school year, Middletown High School reported between 10 and 15 athlete concussions, with about a third being attributed to football.
Nearly 30 athletes at the Appoquinimink High School suffered from concussions that same year.
Head Games is an award-winning documentary about the concussion crisis in sports.
"The Appoquinimink School District will be promoting the event to all their families," said spokeswoman Lilian Miles. "Coaches from every sport at the school will be encouraging their players' families to attend."
Members of the community are also invited to view the film for free and participate in discussion with concussion expert Dr. Kathleen O'Brien, who works at Nemours/ A.I. duPont Hospital for Children.
The Cavaliers ended their 2011 season with a 12-0 record, with their star quarter back Darius Wade and split end Chris Godwin both being courted by top college football teams.
They are also the state champions.
The film being shown later this month is by Steve James, director of Hoop Dreams.
The movie follows former college defensive lineman and pro wrestler Chris Nowinski, who has become an expert on athletes' brain injuries. Nowinski now helps run the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University.
"The research has changed the way I look at the games," DelPercio said. "I'm much more aware of anything that looks like it could produce a concussion."
He said the next step is to make sure players and their parents understand what's at stake.
In the film, Nowinski and his colleagues explain the science behind concussive brain injuries, focusing on three sports – football, hockey, and women's soccer.
"We don't want any young athlete placed in a competitive situation when they're not 100 percent," DelPercio said. "That's why the state has established new rules and regulations that guide decision making in interscholastic sports."
"It includes relevant information about brain trauma, advice on how to better deal with concussions at all levels, and some of the tragic sports stories that have now been determined to be due to concussions," Miles said.
If you go
What Head Games: an award-winning documentary
When Monday, Jan. 28 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. with a Q & A to follow
Where Middletown High School auditorium
Page 2 of 2 - RSVP required to Colleen Kelley (302) 376-4141 ext 2063 or firstname.lastname@example.org