It started as a typical scrimmage at a Georgia high school, but ended in the tragic death of teenage football star De'Antre Turman. Friday evening, he broke his neck after colliding with another player and died from his injuries.
"When we're hearing of students and athletes that die or get really, really sick and have permanent injuries, it kind of brings it close to home,” said Tim Wilder, Superintendent of Dothan City Schools.
Wilder wanted to cover all the bases, so the Dothan City School board approved a three year contract with two athletic trainers: one for Dothan High School and one for Northview High School.
"Having athletic trainers at the school, the athletic trainer will be able to work with the student athlete and guide them through their exercises and speed up their process hopefully,” said Marshall Smith, Sports Medicine Director at Southern Bone and Joint.
The contract is with Southern Bone and Joint. It will cost the school board $50,000, but Wilder said you cannot put a price on a child.
“Having that athletic trainer on the field and at practices really helps us prevent those injuries, we hope. And that's what it's all about,” he said.
School leaders agreed these two new athletic trainers will help our children, but they also will give relief to parents.
"As a parent myself, I think the parents of these athletes are going to feel very comfortable seeing a full-time athletic trainer, especially during the course of the game or during practice,” said Chris Shaw, Principal of Northview High School.
Wilder said Dothan City Schools have about 90 to 100 student athletes in football alone. Pre-season football games for Dothan High School start Thursday and Northview High School begin Friday.