Former NFL players speak on concussion prevention

Former NFL players speak on concussion prevention
August 20
00:00 2015

In above photo: Former NFL players Jim Molinaro (L) and Ethan Albright (R) were the guest speakers during the New Bridge Invitational luncheon held at the Milton Rhodes Center. (Photo by Tevin Stinson)

Matthew Gfellar Foundation spreads concussion awareness during annual luncheon

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

With the start of the 2015 football season right around the corner, most head football coaches don’t have much time for anything, but on Wednesday, Aug. 12, coaches from around the state met to discuss concussions and football safety during a luncheon for the New Bridge Bank Invitational.

This year’s luncheon was presented by the Matthew Gfellar Foundation, which was named after a student athlete who died after suffering a concussion during a high school game in 2008.

Matthew’s father, Bob Gfellar, spoke during the opening of the luncheon and talked about the foundation’s dedication to spreading awareness of concussion prevention.

“We are really happy to be here to help bring awareness to a major problem in high school football,” said Gfellar. “Although Matthew is no longer with us, through this foundation he will leave one forever.”

During the luncheon, former NFL players Jim Molinaro and Ethan Albright were joined by certified athletic trainers in an open discussion on football safety, concussion protocol and prevention.

Ethan Albright, who played over 10 years in the NFL, said when he was growing up nobody was really thinking about concussions or injuries.

He said when he played, many athletes didn’t even report their injuries to trainers or coaches out of fear of being labeled as weak.

“Football has really changed over the years, and I think that is a good thing,” said Albright. “Back when I was in high school, we barely took water breaks because getting water was a sign of weakness. I’m glad the coaches and student-athletes have educated themselves on making the game safe.”

Jim Molinaro, who played four years in the NFL with the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys, also talked about the improvements in football safety.

“Football is a contact sport that can be very dangerous,” said Molinaro. “There will always be some danger in playing such a violent contact sport, but with the improvements in technology over the years, I think the game of football is becoming safer every year. Over the past decade football safety has come a long way, according to a article on last season concussions were down 25%. Zachary Smith, a licensed athletic trainer, believes concussion prevention on the high school level still has a long way to go.

“I agree football is a much safer sport than it was a decade ago on all levels, from Pop Warner to the NFL, but I think we still don’t have enough funds to fully protect the athletes playing high school football.”

According to Smith, a number of professional and college programs have technology that will notify trainers when a player has suffered a concussion or head injury.

The technology will allow trainers to get those players out of the game or practice before it becomes any worse.

“It would be great to have that type of technology at every high school, but financially that is not possible, so it is up to the coaches and training staff to monitor the athletes and know the signs of someone who is suffering from a concussion.”

For more information on the Matthew Gfellar Foundation visit

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors