The Jacksonville Indians can't wait to flip on the Friday night lights. To get things right on the field, and to keep the injuries to a minimum, new head coach Steve Wells said his team has to start on the practice field.
"One thing that we'll strive to do from day one is teach your kids the fundamentals of the game," Coach Wells said.
Dr. Patrick Wupperman, a surgeon with Azalea Orthopedics, said conditioning is just one way to prevent injuries on the turf. He said four out of every thousand high school football players in the country could have a season-ending injury this fall.
"If you constantly bend a paper clip, eventually it will break, and it's the same thing with ligaments," Dr. Wupperman said.
Dr. Wupperman said over-playing a sport can also lead to unnecessary pain.
"There's such risk associated with knee injuries, shoulder injuries, head injuries with football that we don't want to that year round ever."
One of the leading cause of injuries is young athletes copying the pros. Playing by the rules and using proper technique will save limbs and lives.
Coach wells agreed.
"We're going to hit you hard, but we're going to do it in the right way."
So the hits can stay in the game. Just don't take too many of our young players out of it.