9 Players Take Head Blows, High School Forfeits Game

4 players showed signs of concussion; opposing coach says they were 'outmatched'
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2017 10:45 AM CDT
9 Players Take Head Blows, High School Forfeits Game
Quaker Valley's Ricky Guss flies into the end zone during a high school football game on Sept. 22, 2017, in Pennsylvania.   (Steph Chambers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

A high school team in Canada forfeited a game Friday after nine players suffered head injuries, CBC News reports. The coach of the Ecole L'Odyssee Olympiens says he had no choice after four members of the team in New Brunswick showed symptoms of concussion, including vomiting. "We had to forfeit the game for players' safety and security," Marcel Metti says. The teens with concussion symptoms were still feeling ill on Sunday, he says. Metti declined to discuss what happened during the game against the Titans; the match was called midway, with the Titans leading 35-0. "I'm not going to get into that. It's part of the football game," he says. But Titans coach Scott O'Neal says the Olympiens "were outmatched, that's as simple as it was. That's how football is."

O'Neal says his team played by the rules, noting they weren't hit with any penalties. If anyone was injured, he adds, it was the fault of the coaches for failing to train them. The episode followed a new school district policy that specifies that a player who takes a blow to the head must get a doctor's note before playing again. A Quebec university this month settled a lawsuit filed by a former student who says he suffered critical brain injuries during a game, per the National Post. Kevin Kwasny claimed coaches sent him back onto the field in 2011 after he'd been hit, and he then suffered a second head injury and was hospitalized in critical condition. (Even high school athletes have shown signs of brain disease.)

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