Head in the Game
Head in the Game with Jordan Wood
Q: What is your name?
A: My full name is Jordan Anthony Wood.
Q: What school do you attend? What current grade are you in?
A: I’ve been going to Apex High School for three years, which makes me a junior.
Q: Do you participate in any sports?
A: Yes, this season I’m playing varsity football.
Q: How long have you been playing football for?
A: Competitively, four years, though I play football with friends and family all the time.
Q: Do you enjoy playing football?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: What is your football position?
A: I play both wide receiver and corner back.
Q: How often do you play and or practice football? (what does your schedule look like after school and game days)
A: About every day, the workouts are year-round, except for when we have off periods.
Q: Do you plan to play football in your future?
A: No, I’m thinking of resigning after high school.
Q: Are you aware of the risks of playing football?
A: Of course.
Q: Do you ever get worried about getting an injury?
A: Not really, we wear comfortable thick padding over our bodies and helmets to protect us from impact. Plus, we’re constantly practicing good technique and safety.
Q: How do you keep your body from injury, even during practice?
A: I make sure to stretch really well before and after I play. In addition, I make sure not to lead with my head when there’s contact.
Q: Have you ever had an injury?
A: Yes, I had a concussion last season.
Q: How bad was it? How did it affect you?
A: Being honest, I was in pain for a while. It felt as if someone hit my head with a metal pole; my sight was blurry for a while, I couldn’t focus on anything either, but ultimately the worst part was all the makeup work from school.
Q: How do you stay safe on the field?
A: Our coaches teach safe tackling technique; brace for impact, and never use your head as a weapon.
Q: Have you ever seen the movie Concussion with Will Smith?
A: I have not.
Q: If you have, does this movie put fear in you when you play, knowing the after effects of multiple head injuries from football?
A: I haven’t seen it, but I imagine that the after effects to concussions for football players are major and dangerous.
Q: From experience, how many injuries have you seen in football?
A: Too many to count.
Q: What was the worst one you witnessed?
A: We went up against Middle Creek High School; one of our players forcefully tackled another player on the opposite team. After the play, our opponent player didn’t get up. We all moved aside and glanced over to see his whole arm bent backwards like rainbow. It was an image that engraved in my mind for weeks.
Q: Do you ever think to yourself, “that may happen to me”?
A: It’s always in the back of my thoughts, but I try not to think about that and just play with the best effort I can. You can’t run from injuries in a contact sport like football; it is bound to happen no matter how safe you are.
Q: Any advice you would give to football players or other athletes?
A: Yes, they should know just because you play an athletic sport doesn’t mean you put aside your school work. Not everyone has the opportunity to receive football scholarships. The offer comes and goes very quick, after that, you wish that you kept those grades and maintained a good GPA. You always have to think about your life after football, or any sport for that matter.
Football isn’t just a contact sport, it’s a dangerous game of massive bodies colliding into one another. The evidence we have now about the very risk of brain and body injuries casts a dim light on the future of the sport. It is important to train our athletes with caution and safety to avoid life long injuries.