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2 teens suffer concussions during football game


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WEST JORDAN — Two West Jordan football players are recovering from concussions they suffered at the same game at Alta High School. Those injuries have some parents wondering if things got a little too rough at the sophomore game.

In a rare event, two West Jordan High School players suffered concussions during the same game in the same play. One player remains in the hospital, but both are expected to recover without complication. But the incident has left some parents concerned about the sport, and if things got too rough at the game Wednesday night.

One of the players injured, Ronnie Yengich, is a linebacker for both of West Jordan's sophomore and varsity teams. After last night's sophomore game against Alta, he will be sitting out for the season.

"I just remember coming off the field, and sitting on the sidelines, and that's about it," Yengich said. "I took my helmet off, and then I was just gone. I don't remember nothing after that."

He might not remember the game, but his father, Ron Yengich, remembers it clearly.

"I seen my son just come off the sidelines kind of wobbly," he said. "And I seen the coach look at him and wave me over, so I hopped the fence.

Cellphone video from Glen Clayburn, a grandfather of a player on the West Jordan team, shows paramedics, prepping Ronnie and other player for the ambulance.

Concussion Facts:
  • A concussion is a brain injury.
  • All concussions are serious.
  • Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
  • Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity.
  • Recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur can help prevent further injury or even death

"The dad was trying to get him to come to," said Clayburn. "You could hear the dad yelling at him, 'Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie! Wake up, wake up, wake up!'"

He feels the game got too rough for high school freshmen and sophomores. He says his grandson, who was not injured agrees.

"These guys, he said, they were brutal. Real brutal," Clayburn said.

West Jordan High School Football Coach Mike Morgan says they spend a lot of time in training that focuses on techniques to avoid concussions.

"Head always goes to the side, your eyes are always up," Morgan said. "It's something we talk about on a daily basis, if not play-by-play."

The school spends a lot of money on top-of-the-line helmets, and checks them each year.

"Let's be honest, it's a violent game. People are waiting for those hits," Morgan said. "But it can be done appropriately too."

That violence and his son's injury has Yengich rethinking his son's football career.

Ronnie is unsure about whether or not he wants to play again next year.

"I wanna go out there, and then on the other hand I don't wanna like, make anything severe again," Ronnie said.

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