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“Athletes who are younger might be getting hit more often,” she said. “They may be the smaller players” who take the brunt of collisions with bigger upperclassmen.
State officials hope to address that in future years as they continue to collect concussion cases from high school athletic trainers and expand the effort statewide.
Jack Welter suffered a concussion as a freshman wrestler for Eden Prairie High School in late 2011 — probably during a meet when he was slammed to the mat — but neither he or his parents recognized it until days later when he reported dizziness. His coach pulled him out of practice.
His mother will never forget the trip to the doctor when her son was asked to recite the months backward.
“December, November … February, June.”
“I felt awful,” Diane Welter said, “because I didn’t recognize that anything was wrong. But then you get into the doctor’s office and his recall just is not there. It’s pretty scary stuff.”
Welter was able to remain in school but was held out of sports and kept off video games and television, which can aggravate concussion symptoms. By spring 2012, he had his months down again. He is preparing to return to wrestling this winter for his senior year.
His mother is grateful her son’s concussion didn’t linger and that his coach was smart enough to detect it.
“It doesn’t take a lot,” she said, “to get a concussion.”
Jeremy Olson • 612-673-7744