A unit of the Ohio Attorney General’s office has been asked to investigate what happened during a Sept. 10 practice session of the Woodmore High School football team that reportedly left a sophomore player with a concussion and possible nerve damage.
Jill Del Greco, a spokesperson for the Attorney General, said the Bureau of Criminal Investigation will investigate the incident.
“Attorneys with the Special Prosecutions Section of the Attorney General’s office will then review the investigation to determine if there were any violations of the law,” she said.
Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan said he recused himself from investigating the incident because he has a son who plays for the Woodmore team.
Parents of the 16-year-old player told The Press he suffered the injuries during a drill in which some players were told to stand with their hands behind their back while other players ran into them.
The resignation of the team’s assistant coach, Todd Bringman, was announced during a special meeting of the Woodmore school board on Sept. 25.
Steve Huss, a board member, read a statement after board members concluded an executive session:
“The district is continuing its review of the events surrounding the varsity football practice on September 10, 2013 with a view to implementing any needed changes and/or adopting any new and improved policies and practices.
“The board has instructed the high school principal and the athletic director with the responsibility to engage the football coaching staff to undertake a comprehensive of any such modifications or improved practices. The board remains committed to the district’s over-arching objective that all student-athletes can participate in athletics that are safe, enjoyable and fulfilling, and promote the ideals of good sportsmanship and teamwork that will assist our students in developing into responsible young adults.
“For those of you that have a sense of satisfaction or those who have called other area coaches, you need to refocus your energy towards positive support of this district and its students. These are the types of things that continue to hold us back as a community and a school system.”
The player’s parents said another player drove their son home after the practice session in 97-degree heat.
They described their son as being unresponsive when he arrived home. They drove him to St. Charles Mercy Hospital. From there he was transported by ambulance to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo.