Iowa City high schools ahead of newly proposed concussion bill - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City high schools ahead of newly proposed concussion bill

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Iowa lawmakers are considering a new bill, requiring trained health care professionals at some high school sporting events to evaluate concussions, something both City High and West High are already doing in Iowa City.

At their big intercity rivalry game, both schools had their own professional athletic trainers on hand.

West High School's Athletic Director, Craig Huegen, said it's their athletic trainer, Sheila Stiles, that has the final word on a student athlete.

"If she says a student athlete is not good to go then that it's it," Huegen said.

While high school basketball is a contributor to concussions, Stiles said she monitors all sports.

"It's the same whether you're a basketball player or a football player. Most contact sports so football, wrestling, basketball, and soccer. Those sports are where you'll see it the most. but cheerleading has a lot of concussions. It can happen anywhere," Stiles said.

In the stands, Jeff Disterhoft, watches his son, Nathan of West High. His daughter, Ally, is also an accomplished basketball player down the road at the University of Iowa.

"We've been watching our kids play since they were 5 years old," Disterhoft said.

Disterhoft supports protecting student athletes from damaging concussions and said the sentiment has changed drastically in the past ten years.

"Thankfully it's a relatively infrequent kind of experience but it's always a risk that is out there.What's comforting today is that I think there is far more awareness, far better perception of it, and sensitivity to it to diagnosis it upfront as oppose to kind of letting it go on."

West went on to beat City in both matchups. The boy's team winning 86-38 and the girl's 63-58.

Despite most of the larger districts already taking part in this, the bill doesn't yet propose how other school districts would be expected to pay for the changes.

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