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MHSAA voices concern for SIS

The Mississippi High School Activities Association had afront-page story on its October/November newsletter that definitelydeserves sharing. Three student deaths in North Carolina, all ofthem associated with football, caught the MHSAA’s attention.

Over a million high school athletes play high school footballacross America and most do so without injuries. This year threeplayers in North Carolina school districts died as a result ofsecond-impact-syndrome.

That’s an alarming number. SIS is an extremely rare condition inwhich the brain swells rapidly. If a player suffers a concussion,he should be closely watched in the days and weeks after theinjury.

According to the MHSAA, a player from a Meridian area privateschool had a concussion one week and returned to action the nextFriday night. He absorbed a jarring hit, not to his head. He got upand collapsed.

Thanks to his close proximity to a hospital with neurosurgeonson staff, the player lived. The surgeons performed surgery withinan hour of the injury. The player is expected to make a fullrecovery.

“We have had a couple of student deaths related to the heat butto my knowledge, we have not had any students in our member schoolswho have had second-impact-syndrome,” said MHSAA Executive DirectorDr. Ennis Proctor. “We need to be really aware of the problem so wecan avoid similar cases in Mississippi.”

Mike Wilkinson, chair of the Mississippi Sports MedicineAdvisory Committee, said, “All coaches must exercise extremecaution in dealing with concussions among high schoolathletes.”

Wilkinson will make a presentation on the SIS topic during theannual Athletic Administrators Conference in Vicksburg, Jan. 15-16.Certainly, schools should provide financial support for all coacheswho want to attend the meeting.

Meanwhile, Professor Hoopla B.S. said he was looking forward topresident-elect Barack Obama sharing the wealth with him. Too badit won’t arrive before Christmas.

Hoopla predicted the winners of 20 games last week and got 18right. Special condolences to Mississippi State because theBulldogs just can’t seem to get a second SEC win.

Hoopla starts this weekend’s menu with Friday night high schoolspecials.

St. Stanislaus at Brookhaven: The Rock-A-Chaws are averaging 39points per game but they are allowing opponents 28 ppg. Pantherswin playoff game by a whisker. Brookhaven 38-35.

Bowling Green at Brookhaven Academy: Cougars have beencontemplating revenge for an overtime loss as they enter the ClassAA state playoffs. Brookhaven Academy 30-26.

Loyd Star at Bassfield: It’s tough to win on the road,especially in the Class 2A state playoffs. Bassfield 33-23.

Wesson at St. Patrick: After Mercy Cross and St. Johnconsolidated two years ago, it took a year to get the kinks ironedout. Now they’re roughing up 2A foes. St. Patrick 21-14.

Mount Olive at Bogue Chitto: Look for the Troy Smith Fieldscoreboard to blow a fuse Friday night. Mount Olive 42-32.

Natchez Cathedral at West Lincoln: Winless Bears would love toend their season with a victory for the team, especially theseniors. Green Wave won’t cooperate. Cathedral 26-14.

Copiah Academy at Winston Academy: Colonels have drawn a wildcard berth in the Class AA state playoffs. It will be a long ridehome from Louisville. Winston 44-12.

Bay at Lawrence County: A thundering herd of running backsoverwhelm the Tigers from Bay St. Louis. Lawrence County 35-10.

Purvis at Hazlehurst: Indians appear to grow stronger with eachvictory. Hazlehurst 37-8.

Southeast Lauderdale at Franklin Co: Bulldogs must play well toclear their first hurdle in the Class 3A state playoffs. FranklinCounty 27-14.

South Pike at Morton: Eagles have their work cut out for them asthey seek a playoff win on the road. Morton 20-10.

Pearl River at Gulf Coast: The Mississippi Association ofCommunity/Junior Colleges state title is up for grabs Saturday inPerkinston. Give a nod to the Bulldogs. Gulf Coast 27-21.

Southern Miss at Central Florida: After a record-settingoffensive show against UAB, the Golden Eagles encounter a stoutdefense in Orlando. Central Florida 27-21.

In other Magnolia State college action, Alabama State overJackson State 18-14, Texas Southern over Valley State 19-10, DeltaState over West Georgia 31-19, Millsaps over Colorado College28-14, Sul Ross State over Mississippi College 22-17 and Shorterover Belhaven 27-14. Ole Miss, Alcorn and Mississippi State haveopen dates to promote their basketball programs.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O. BOX551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com