Football

Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Special mouth guards and helmets marketed to help reduce concussions may not actually provide any additional protection for football players a new report claims. The findings are from a 2012 study that followed 1,332 high school athletes during a season.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin followed the football players in grades 9 through 12 at 36 high schools across the country. They compared players wearing custom-fitted mouth guards and helmets with those wearing off-the-shelf gear. Nearly 10 percent of the players they tracked experienced injuries during the season.

Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

A spate of recent serious football-related injuries and fatalities, as well a $765 million payout by the NFL to over 4,500 retired players has heightened awareness around the dangers of concussion.

In western New York, coaches, players and their families are developing strategies to minimize risk.

In the suburban town of Cheektowaga, Maryvale High School’s Varsity football team is practicing for their next game. Seventeen-year old senior Mike Cammarano is inside linebacker for the team. A few weeks ago he was involved in a helmet-to-helmet hit that led to him being taken off the field by paramedics.