Spectator Describes Serious Football Camp Collision

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Concussions at a football training camp were caused by identical drills being run at the same time from opposite sides of the facility, the coach of one of the injured high school players said.

    Three high school players suffered severe head injuries at the Northern Virginia Riddell All-American Training Camp Elite Skills and Lineman Showcase at the Dulles Sports Plex.

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    Archbishop Carroll High School coach Rick Houchens-- a spectator at the camp -- said passing drills were being run from opposite ends of the facility toward the middle, where four players -- none wearing pads nor helmets -- collided, sending three to the hospital. The receivers were running hard and looking back at the quarterback, unaware of the drill developing on the other side of the facility.

    "It's a time bomb," Houchens said. "If both of those things are happening at the same time, both kids are running full speed, then that's when you're going to get a collision, and that's exactly what happened that night. That's how four kids were injured at the same time."

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    Carroll wide receiver Lamont Baldwin -- a star who was getting attention from Division I college programs -- suffered a fractured skull and was airlifted to a hospital. He spent two days in intensive care. Baldwin has had to relearn how to walk and talk and has trouble hearing out of his left ear.

    "Concussions are no joke," Houchens said. "I've never seen anything that severe."

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    About 250 players attended the camp. Houchens said he doesn't recall seeing any medical personnel.

    "I was the only one there, along with a couple of my assistant coaches, with Lamont, and we were the only ones there that tended to him until the paramedics got there," Houchens said.

    The time table for Lamont's recovery is uncertain, but he is improving.

    Wayne Yarborough, the organizer of the event, said Wednesday that he feels bad about what happened. But parents knew what was going on at the camp, signed waivers and released the camp and it's organizers from liability, he said.