STHS heads up new program for athletes |

STHS heads up new program for athletes

Steve Yingling
Dan Thrift/Tahoe Daily Tribune Jonathon Weldy, who is going to try out for the South Tahoe High freshman soccer team, takes the ImPACT concussion test Tuesday morning at STHS. All athletes must take the test before participating on a 2006-2007 team at the school.

Testing has already started at South Tahoe High and school isn’t in session for another three and a half weeks. And the athletes taking the tests don’t have to worry about studying ahead of time or failing the exam.

What STHS has in mind for its students is to have a better system in place should an athlete suffer a head injury. As a result, all Vikings are being required to take an concussion test before being permitted to practice with a school team.

“There will be a few bumps to overcome with our implementation of the test. Our goal is to get all of the athletes tested before the first practice,” said South Tahoe Athletic Director Don Borges.

The computerized test developed by ImPACT Applications will give the school head injury background on each of its athletes and help officials be able to make wise decisions as to when an athlete can return from a concussion.

“This is a safety issue,” Borges said. “I believe the test will give us a better assessment as to when an athlete will be ready to resume competition and practice. If an athlete shows symptoms of a concussion during practice or games, the post concussion test will show a red flag if the post concussion test is not similar to the baseline test.”

The research-based software tool is used by 19 NFL teams, two NBA clubs, the U.S. women’s hockey team and numerous major universities and high schools throughout the country.

School trainer Nicole Kranzberg will also be involved in the results of the initial test and postconcussion results.

Save South Tahoe Athletic Teams, which helped save athletics at STHS and South Tahoe Middle School in 2004-2005, has funded the program, which is $600 annually.

After asking the student about their history of head injuries, he or she must complete six different test sections. The tests focus on recall, reaction time and brain processing speed. Students must recall words, figures and shapes as quickly as possible.

“It was really confusing,” said STHS junior Ricardo Macias, a soccer player. “This test makes me want to pay more attention to what I’m doing.”

Borges has even taken the test several times and the athlete in him has emerged.

“The competitive nature in you wants to do as best as you can,” he said. “Parents are impressed; kids find the test unique.”

Student athletes can take the test from 8-10 a.m. through Friday. For more information, go to

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