Concussion concerns sideline K-Park player


Kendra Perry

Jared Guy stands on the sidelines, besides his teammates who are suited up and ready to play.

Matthew Ogle, Staff Reporter

Jared Guy has been playing football since he was 9. He loved the life lessons it taught him — trusting others, working as a team. But this year, after playing on the K-Park team for two years, the junior offensive lineman will no longer be on the gridiron.

Instead, Guy has chosen to stop playing the sport that he has loved for so long — because of the physical damage it was causing.

Guy suffered two severe concussions that sidelined him for the majority of the season during the fall semester of last year. He has suffered four total concussions while playing football.

Not many players have made the choice Guy has, but the head injuries opened his mind to the dangers of the sport.

“All the concussions have caused too much of a risk to play,” Guy said.. “I feel like it’s the smarter choice.”

Guys says it was hard to tell his parents, but in the end, they were understanding and supported his decision.

“It was difficult seeing Jared suffer through injuries and missing opportunities because of them,” said his mother, Shanna Guy. “It will be safer this way.”

Recent studies of concussions for high school athletes show that the sport with highest percentage of concussions is football. Head injuries in the National Football League have also been the focus of increasing cause and concern, as a growing number of professional players have been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

The NFL did not acknowledge a connection between CTE and football until May 2016, after years of refusing to link football to the brain disease. The league agree to pay $1 billion to thousands of former players who had sued the NFL for hiding brain injury dangers from them. The settlement is being appealed.   

K-Park athletic director Clayton Maple says he understands Guy’s decision, although at first he was shocked.

“After that, I explained to him that I understood his decision,” Maple said. “I asked him if he still wanted to be part of the family.”

Maple offered Guy a position as team manager. He accepted.

The absence of  Guy and other injured players, such as Brett Jones, Logan Bartholomew and Evan Perilloux, has likely impacted the season, Maple said.

“Anytime we are missing players could make a big difference to the game because every player has a role,” Maple said. “Luckily, Guy is still able to be a positive contributor to the team.”

Since his decision, Guy has had more time to focus on school work, and if he chooses, he can return to sports and activities other than football.

But it is still difficult for Guy to be stuck on the sideline watching his teammates play on the turf fields against familiar teams such as Porter, New Caney and Humble.

“I feel down when I’m out there, especially during the first game, and I have a sense of regret,” Guy said. “” But I know it’s the smartest thing to do, even though I’ll miss it more than anything.”