What helmets can’t fix when it comes to concussions and high school football:

“Because of its national reputation — and extremely well-funded athletic department — Mater Dei has been on the leading edge of concussion prevention and treatment for high school football players. The coaches are vigilant; the equipment is top of the line; the latest medical recommendations are exactingly followed.

“And yet, even when a football program does everything right, it’s still not clear if it’s enough. This uncertainty haunts the Mater Dei coaching staff, who struggle on a daily basis to effectively manage the risk of concussions among their players. The new research on concussions has allowed them to prevent many of the worst injuries, but it has also made them increasingly aware of the ubiquity of injury. They know better than anyone that if an elite program like Mater Dei can’t solve the problem of head trauma, it seems unlikely the problem can be solved. The sport may simply be too dangerous for teenagers.”