Tigers tackle work in lab | RecordCourier.com
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Tigers tackle work in lab

Douglas High's Dawson Hughes, a 6-foot-4, 315-pound lineman returning for his senior season, inputs data as part of his baseline testing process last week.
Brad Coman |

Its season opener within sight, the Douglas High football team focused on conditioning and on-the-field preparation last week during two-a-day drills.

The Tigers also spent time in a computer lab to focus on some high-tech football. Technology, that is, in the form of baseline tests designed to make the game safer in terms of concussion awareness.

Ernie Monfiletto, entering his fifth season as head football coach and 21st season overall at Douglas High, noted that the standard test sets a baseline for a player’s individual ability to respond to questions and activities on the computer.

“If they get a concussion at a later date, they will be given this test again to determine how their brain is functioning and it serves as one of many tests given to determine if they are healthy enough to return to play,” Monfiletto explained.

Awareness of head injuries has been elevated more recently due to new information regarding the condition of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative disease that affects the brains of those who have sustained repeated concussions and traumatic brain injuries.

Monfiletto noted that practice contact limitations, as well as medical protocols now mandated and enforced by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association.

“We have a greater awareness of identifying a concussion and protocols set in place to determine when a player is prepared to return to play,” he added. “We have a full time trainer, along with the Tahoe Orthopedic Physicians, who help determine when a player is ready to return to play.

“Coaches do not make this decision about being ready to return. Also, we have taken great strides to teach kids to tackle properly and we have reduced the amount of full contact at practice over the past few years.”

Meanwhile, hometown fans will have a chance to see the unveiling of the Tigers Friday night when they host Fernley and Hug for a scrimmage at Keith Roman Field. A scrimmage involving the Douglas Pop Warner unlimited division team will be held from 4:45-5:45. The freshman and JV teams will be on the field starting at 6 p.m., followed by varsity action at 7:15 p.m.

The Tigers, who have no less than 14 returnees back from a team that went 2-8 last season, kick off their regular season on Aug. 26 when they travel to Reno to play McQueen in a non-league contest. The frosh and JV squads will play at McQueen on Aug. 25.