Segments in this Video

High School Football (04:00)


In 2010, players practice despite the heat in Little Rock, Arkansas; Will James collapses from heat stroke. Two days prior, Tyler Davenport suffers the same condition. Over the weekend, four high school boys are in serious condition with football-related injuries. (Credits)

Elite Football (05:06)

High school football has become a national phenomenon. Teams and players are scrutinized at summer camps and tournaments by college scouts and the media. The Shiloh Christian Saints' football program is successful; athletes train long hours and undergo specialized coaching.

High School Star Athletes (03:31)

By 2006, Shiloh begins luring some of the best regional athletes; Kiehl Frazier arrives in 2008. By his senior year, more colleges try to recruit Frazier than any other high school athlete in Arkansas history; the NFL may be in his future.

Sports Injuries (03:10)

Shiloh running back Garrett Harper hopes to earn a college scholarship. He has incurred multiple injuries over the years, including two concussions. Approximately 60,000 concussions occur in high school football every year.

Concussions and Football (02:44)

Neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee finds evidence of degenerative disease in several ex-NFL players. In 2010, McKee autopsies the brain of college player Owen Thomas and discovers early signs of CTE.

Elite High School Match-up (05:55)

Across the U.S., over 1 million youth play football. In 2010, Shiloh competes against Trinity High School on national television; Trinity has 18 varsity players that weigh over 250 pounds. Trinity players perform with increased intensity.

Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic (03:19)

Shiloh and Trinity compete in the Dallas Cowboys' stadium; some worry about the safety of Shiloh players. In the third quarter, Sam Harvill suffers from cramping and is carted of the field; Shiloh loses by a large margin.

Sub-concussive Blows (05:01)

Researchers discover that players with no reported concussion symptoms suffer from significant memory damage. Andrew Rowe often hits with his head; helmets do not prevent concussions. Shiloh coaches plan to play a more physical game.

Shiloh vs. Ozark (03:35)

The Ozark High School football program aspires to be like that of Shiloh's. The teams meet for the first time in a game; Ozark loses.

Heat Stroke Cases (03:17)

As the 2010 football season continues, the media follows the progress of James and Davenport at Arkansas Children's Hospital; both are in medically induced comas. James attends Davenport's funeral.

Exertional Heat Stroke (04:31)

After Davenport's death, crucial differences between his and James' cases emerge. Doug Casa discusses surviving exertional heat stroke. The Arkansas Activities Association has recommendations but no policies for practicing in the heat and does not mandate the presence of an athletic trainer on the field.

Game Decisions (04:05)

There is no national agency to enforce safety rules or policies for high school football; high school coaches are under intense pressure to win. Harper obtains his first concussion in an important game but is cleared to play in the second half. Athletes feel pressure to stay in the game.

Title Game (02:35)

Shiloh competes for its third state championship against Pulaski Academy; James returns to Pulaski six weeks after his release from the hospital. Three Shiloh seniors will enter major division one college football programs.

Credits: Football High (01:01)

Credits: Football High

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Football High

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High school football has never had a higher profile, with nationally televised games, corporate sponsorships and minute-by-minute coverage on sports websites. FRONTLINE examines teams whose workout schedules, practices, and styles of play increasingly imitate the pros, and asks the question has the amped-up culture of high school football outrun necessary protections for the boys who play the game?

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL151235

Copyright date: ©2011

Closed Captioned

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