Amarillo, TX - Alarm over football-related injuries and deaths across Texas is growing in school districts.
There have been six high school football-related deaths in the state of Texas just this season alone. And the injuries we are seeing state-wide are also causing concern.
One week ago, Clarendon wide receiver Riley Shadle collided with a linebacker on the opposing team. He fell to the ground and was unable to get himself up.
And Chris Leanos of Perryton collapsed twice after being hit on the field during a game versus Bushland.
Bushland high athletic director Jimmy Thomas says sometimes, these injuries are unavoidable.
"The incident that happened here, we really can't find a reason or a contact injury that it really was kind of that it happened, but you never know when those things are going to happen, but the protocol for us is..especially for home games, we have an athletic trainer that's on site and we also have an ambulance that's on site," says Thomas.
"When you get a little older, you start getting a little testosterone build and they want to do a little bit more, hit a little bit harder, coaches are pushing them to do a little bit more...and they feel like they can with the protection and the advancement of protective mechanisms of the shoulder pads, and helmets and things like that, you feel almost invincible with that on, so you're more apt to take more chances with stuff like that," says Joe Perry with Parker Sports Medicine.
Shadle is still in the hospital with a swollen spinal chord, but healing. Yesterday he was able to go outside.
Leanos's coach David Flowers tells us he is up and walking, but remains in ICU.
As far as changing training protocol at local schools...just maybe.
"There's been two major injuries in football the last couple of weeks that have been pretty significant, so you know the head to head contact is a big issue you know if you look at the pros and colleges and you know high school's under the college rules, so targeting, all those things are trying to make the game safer," says Thomas.