Article by Tyler Bergen - NBC Montana (KECI)
MISSOULA, Mont. - High school players and coaches were allowed to start preseason practices last Friday.
As another football season gets set to kick off next week, the awareness of player safety is once again in the spotlight.
According to a study by the Head Case company, 47 percent of sports concussions occur during high school football.
The coaches at Sentinel High School implemented a new tackling technique used by an NFL team to try and bring the number down.
"We've embraced the Seahawks rugby-style tackling," said head coach Dane Oliver. "It used to be it was always taught get the head across on a tackle. Now the head's actually behind, and we say we're a shoulder tackling team and our strike zone is the mid-thigh."
Lately there has been a trend of professional football players retiring early, and the same is happening in high schools across the country.
A new survey released by the California Interscholastic Federation earlier this month found high school football participation has dropped by 3,520 students in that state.
Medical experts determined most concussions occur without losing consciousness. In fact, one in five high school athletes will sustain a concussion during a season.
Among high school sports, football has the highest concussion rate, followed by ice hockey and lacrosse.