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Ex-Bills DB Mark Kelso to lead Heads Up clinic for parents, players


Thursday's Heads Up Football news:

* The Buffalo News previewed a Heads Up Football clinic that will be led by former Buffalo Bills defensive end Mark Kelso.

The NFL, USA Football and Niagara Erie Youth Sports Association (NEYSA) are working to implement the USA Football "Heads Up" protocols to every youth football organization in the area. Kelso is an ambassador for USA Football, the national governing body for the sport’s youth level.

The free event, called "Parent Symposium/Player Clinic," will take place July 9 at 6 p.m. at the Starpoint High School Football field in Lockport. Kelso will join USA Football Master trainer Ken Stoldt and the NEYSA to educate 6- to 14-year-old football players and their parents about football safety.

Kelso and Heads Up ambassadors will talk about proper equipment (helmet and shoulder pads) fitting, concussions, "Heads Up" tackling techniques and heat preparedness and hydration. Players will participate in skill position drills and parents will also learn safety techniques.

* reported on how the NFL and youth coaches are changing the game through Heads Up Football.

"The goal is child safety, we want to get the message out to parents that it is a safe game," John Roderique, Master Trainer with USA Football, said. "There is so much incorrect information out there, that I think it scares people away, but we want to show them and teach coaches how to be safe."

The clinic is an opportunity for local football coaches to become better versed in concussion awareness, as well as proper tackling techniques and equipment fitting.

Dr. Randy Goldstein from The University of Kansas Hospital spoke to the parents of the students to discuss concussions and safety.

"The message to the coaches is to be able to recognize the symptoms of concussions," Dr. Goldstein commented. "They need to be able to look for signs that would suggest the child has had a concussion, such as headache, dizziness, light sensitivity, fogginess or confusion."

* The Lewisboro, N.Y., Ledger reported on the area's new flag football program that is affiliated with USA Football.

* Sports Authority published a press release about its Sports Authority Field Day in Denver last Sunday with the help of USA Football.

-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor



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