In recent days, a high school football player in Phoenix died and a former University of Arizona quarterback just dropped out of school for health reasons.
Toby Bourguet knows the ins and outs of football as a player, coach and father. His son, Trenton, stars as quarterback for Marana High School, which has a playoff game coming up on Friday against Verrado High School.
"I worry as much or more about my son crossing the street every morning than I do with him strapping up a football helmet,” Bourguet said.
The issue of head injuries and high-contact sports is one Bourguet believes has roots in youth leagues.
“Nobody has stepped in and said this is what we're going to mandate for safety so all these leagues in every city, they run off of different directors, different safety standards,” Bourguet said.
Carlos Sanchez, a Moon Valley High School football player, passed away of blunt force trauma one day after collapsing during a game on Oct. 20.
Dr. Holly Beach, director of primary care sports medicine at Banner University Medical Center, noted continued public education on concussions is crucial.
Symptoms include migraines, dizziness, sleep issues and possibly depression.
Beach stressed the long-term effects of concussions can be detrimental.
"Weeks go by before it comes to someone's attention that they've had an injury and those are certainly more challenging to treat and those athletes to have symptoms for much longer so the earlier we can identify them, the sooner we can help,” she said.
Efforts to reduce football-related head-injuries are taking place at the Sahuarita Unified School District.
SUSD has implemented mobile virtual players (MVP), which are remote-controlled robots designed for tackling during practices.
Right now, Bourguet is looking forward to Friday night’s playoff game.
"You want to look at it and go yeah it's great to win it's great to be so involved but at the end of the day we want our kids to walk off the field and be healthy,” Bourguet said.