Seventeen-year-old Eli Vargas takes a lot of hits as a safety and running back for the Hollidaysburg Golden Tigers. This season, one of those collissions took him off the field
"I knew right away like everything kind of went black," he says, "I saw stars." But it wasn't the kind of impact that throws a player on the ground and catches everyone's attention, so Eli stayed in the game, playing five more minutes until halftime.
He says, "I couldn't remember who we were playing and I asked one of my coaches, tried ot make it seem like it wasn't a big deal, but it was."
The coach alerted a doctor and an athletic trainer. Both are on hand at games and trainer Amy Smearman even attends practices.
It was a little scary talking to Eli, the night of his injury.
She says, "he knew he was at Hollidaysburg in the locker room but he didn't know what was going on in the game, He really couldn't remember the first half."
Eli didn't need immediate treatment so he spent the rest of the game on the sidelines, and afterwards had a checkup with Dr. Eric Kephart at Blair Orthopedics. Dr Kephart has seen quite a few young athletes with similar injuries this year...
He says, "I think if you talk to some of those who've gone before they would say 'oh yeah, I had experienced that and maybe it wasn't quite treated diagnosed, as it is today." He says the tendency now with potential concussion is to err on the side of caution.
Eli's back in the game and says he'll be a little more careful in the future. "You really need your head , you need your brain," he says, "and you don't want it to get worse, so you can't play the next week."
Dr Kephart will be speaking about concussions Saturday, November 3 at 6 p.m. at Bishop Guilfoyle High School .