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Cameron Austin kneels on the sideline after a play during the JV game at Hazelwood West. He suffered a concussion during the game.

It happened with just one play.

Senior Cameron M. Austin was heartbroken at the start of the football season this year when he found out that he wouldn’t be able to play due to his concussion from last season.

Now, on Fridays instead of being on the field he screams from the bleachers supporting his old teammates.

Austin began playing football 7 years ago.

“Originally I didn’t want to play, but my parents made me in 6th grade, and then I fell in love with the sport,” he said. “I was actually really terrible at first, because I was placed at cornerback. At one game, I came out of nowhere and tackled No. 17. I was placed on the defensive line and I had found my true calling.”

So when he got concussed at a game last season, he was devastated.

At the JV game that ended his football career he recalls the exact play.

“We were down by a touchdown and the opposing team was making  another run up the middle when I hit the guy and we both went airborne,” Austin said. “He hit the ground and he was out of the game, and I remember feeling both a little bad and proud because I wasn’t the only one that had gotten a concussion from that play.”

He continued playing that game because during the actual game, he didn’t notice that anything was truly wrong with him. It wasn’t until later on when the effects started to truly hit him, and he realized that he would not be able to play again unless he wanted to have permanent damage.

He had recurring headaches, nausea, and couldn’t remember much; it reflected in his grades too, he couldn’t focus in class or remember any material for the tests.

He stopped playing, and tried to start again at the start of this season but after he started getting headaches again, he knew it would be safer for his health to move on.

“I miss the sport, especially at the games,” Austin said. “I miss being under the Friday night lights.”

 

 

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