BROCTON, NY - It has now been about a year since the passing of 16-year-old Damon Janes, the Westfield/Brocton football player who died from a head injury suffered in a game. But efforts continue to honor his memory with a greater awareness of safety for young players.
A fundraiser in Brocton on Sunday featured football-related events, dirt bike races, a motorcycle run, and food to benefit a foundation in Janes's name that could provide a future scholarship for other students.
But there is also a focus on concussion-related injuries and subsequent treatment for players.
And since the team canceled its season last year after Damon's passing, their upcoming September 5 home opener game is sure to be emotional for the team and the community.
Newly passed state legislation will also call for baseline brain testing of high school players and improved treatment and protocols for head injuries.
There are also new safety ratings for football helmets to encourage the use of gel liners to soften blows to the head, plus instruction in safer tackling techniques.