As we approach the beginning of two a days, soccer practices and the beginning of fall sports, remember that hydration and nutrition are the two biggest factors  in helping to combat the august weather, and the increase in physical demands.


Concussion Letter

posted Dec 6, 2016, 9:32 AM by Rob Brookes   [ updated Aug 3, 2017, 6:18 AM ]

Dear Parent/Guardian(s),                                                                                8/10/2017


            The purpose of this letter is to update you in regard to concussions and the protocol we will use in diagnosing and treating possible concussions.

            As most people are aware, concussions occur when a person receives a hit that is significant enough to move the brain within the skull.  The brain is surrounded in fluid, (much like an egg inside its egg shell), when the brain is moved it sustains two hits opposite of each other at the same time.  The brain will jiggle like Jell-O, which can lead to axon damage causing visual and motor dysfunction. While we take great care in trying to prevent concussions such as; teaching proper technique in tackling, utilizing helmets with sensors, and implementing ImPact testing (for grades 7, 9, 11), concussions can possibly still occur.

            Concussions have three levels mild, moderate and severe.  Research shows most cases of concussions are considered mild, with very few being moderate and fewer being severe. It is possible to take a hit during practice or a game and have signs and symptoms of a concussion that disappear within 15 minutes or in some cases, possibly linger for 24-48 hours. Keeping this in mind, please know that we view head injuries/concussions extremely serious and will follow the steps listed below.

If an athlete sustains a hit to the head and their helmet sensor did not go off, yet they are showing signs and symptoms of a concussion, athletes must report it to me or to a coach immediately.  We ask that you please encourage your son/daughter to do so. If the sensor did go off they will be immediately pulled off the field or out of practice and evaluated right then and there.

I will then perform my concussion evaluation. Based on the findings of the evaluation, one of the following steps will take place. The athlete will; be held out of competition for a brief time, be removed for the remainder of the game (at which time I will take their Helmet), or recommend that they visit the school’s Physician, or be taken immediately to the E.R.  Communication is essential. If we have not talked during the game, please meet with me when the game is completed.  At that time, I will inform you as to my findings and what my recommendations are.  If your son/daughter will not be seeking medical attention at that time, I will inform you as to what to look for overnight.  The next day I will re-evaluate your son/daughter.  Depending on their status during the school day and how they are feeling prior to practice I will advise as to what will happen.  If I suspect anything out of the ordinary, I will contact you and give you my findings and recommendations. If at any point they are having trouble during the day at school, it is recommended that they come see me. Please encourage them to do so.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of this information, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I can be reached at:

Phone: 315-642-3427 ext 19514




Rob Brookes, MSEd,LAT,ATC

Our Big News

posted Oct 15, 2009, 8:02 AM by Julie Burgess   [ updated Dec 2, 2016, 8:51 AM by Rob Brookes ]

Nutrition is often overlooked as a potential competitive edge possibly because it is poorly understood.  It has been shown that proper eating before exercise improves performance. It is also important to be well hydrated before the exercise session. Too many high school athletes head off to school without eating breakfast, lunch may be a slice of pizza.  At this point they, with very little fuel in their system, they are not prepared to be their best at game time or even practice.  

Some signs that an athlete may not be eating enough to fuel their performance are:

  • Difficulty paying attention in practice or in a game.
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue before the practice or games have been completed.
  • Injury or frequent illness.

Nutrition Tips

To help athletes achieve peak performance it is important to promote healthy eating and adequate fluid intake. Encourage athletes to take time to eat breakfast every day. Remind your athletes that lunch for many of them will be their pre-game meal and to eat accordingly. And for some athletes, lunch may be as early as 10:30 in the morning and they may not be eating again until after practice or after the game. The size of the meal or snack eaten before exercise is important because adequate time is needed for digestion.  A meal or snack that is high in protein and/or fat will take longer to digest. Years ago a typical pre-game meal was steak and eggs which is mostly protein and fat. Many studies have confirmed an ideal pre-game meal should be predominantly carbohydrate.  Eating foods high in carbohydrate can maintain blood glucose levels during exercise and provide fuel for the exercise session. The closer it gets to game time or practice, the smaller the meal or snack should be.

The body must have the proper fuel for peak performance; there are no substitutes for good nutrition.  Some athletes may be tempted to try an energy drink as a quick pick me up before they compete. There are no quick fixes, including energy drinks, for not eating and drinking adequately during the day.  Keep in mind some of these energy drinks may be too high in caffeine to be considered a healthy choice (have your athletes read the label).  They should not take the place of healthy meals and adequate fluids during the day.

Pre-Game Nutrition Guidelines:

4 or more hours before game:

  • Sandwich with lean meat such as turkey or ham, fresh fruit or juice, low fat milk or low fat yogurt.

3 hours before game:

  • Fruit or juice, bagel or toast with a little peanut butter, light cream cheese or margarine or cereal with low fat milk and fruit.

1-2 hours before game:

  • Fresh fruit or fruit juice or a sports beverage.

Foods higher in fat and protein such as steak and eggs, pizza, nachos, and hot dogs will leave the stomach very slowly and be unavailable for fuel during exercise and should be avoided immediately before exercise.

To help keep athletes well hydrated, encourage them to:

  • Stop at the drinking fountain between classes.
  • Bring a water bottle to school and to practice so that they may take frequent water breaks.
  • Drink fluids with their breakfast and lunch.

During practice and in game situations to drink during time outs or breaks in play, and to drink even in they claim they are not thirsty (since thirst is not a good indicator of hydration)

Hot Off The Press

posted Oct 15, 2009, 7:59 AM by Julie Burgess   [ updated Dec 2, 2016, 8:52 AM by Rob Brookes ]

Athletes are at risk for heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to properly cool themselves during physical activity.  The risk of heat illness increases with rising temperatures and rising humidity.   The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn't enough, causing an athlete’s body temperature to rise rapidly.

Several factors affect the body's ability to cool itself, such as:

  • Weather: when the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly.
  • Age: children have lower sweat rates, higher heat production, and require more time to acclimate to heat.
  • Larger athletes:  more mass means more energy production and body heat. Fewer sweat glands per surface area, along with additional fat, insulates the body and keep heat internalized.
  • Restrictive clothes and gear limits heat evaporation and increases insulation.
  • History of heat illness

Other conditions related to risk include obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.

 Because heat-related deaths are preventable, it is vital coaches are aware of who is at the greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death.

 General Guidelines for Heat Illness


Dehydration occurs when the body looses too much fluid.  Dehydration impairs athletic performance whenever body fluid level falls below 98% of normal. The primary cause of dehydration is sweat loss, an essential body process which facilitates the release of body heat into the environment. When athletes don’t replace what they lose in sweat, the physiological function of the body’s heat management system is compromised, placing both the athletes’ performance and physical well-being at risk.

 Heat Exhaustion

The inability to continue exercise associated with any combination of heavy sweating, dehydration, sodium loss, and energy depletion. Occurs most frequently in hot, humid conditions.

 Heat Stroke

Occurs when the temperature regulation system shuts down due to excessive heat production and/or inhibited heat loss.  This life threatening situation occurs during activity and effects organ tissues resulting in systemic organ failures.

 Signs, Symptoms, and Actions to Take


  Signs and Symptom



  • Thirst
  • Fatigue  
  • Irritability 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Loss of Performance  


Heat Exhaustion      


  • Headache  
  • Nausea   
  • Vomiting  
  • Weakness  
  • Rapid Pulse  
  • Cold, clammy skin  


Heat Stroke 

  • * Medical Emergency  
  • Irrational Behavior 
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea   
  • Hot, dry skin   
  • Confused or disoriented 
  • Dangerously high temperature

Actions to Take



  • Re-hydrate     
  • Stop activity 







Heat Exhaustion      

  • Replace fluids (re-hydration is critical)
  • Rest in a cool, shaded area until all symptoms have passed.
  • If dizziness continues, lie the athlete down, elevate 

    their legs, and seek medical attention.





Heat Stroke 

  • Get out of sun and seek immediate medial attention.

    This is an emergency, call 911.

  • Cool immediately using ice baths, ice bags,

    or whatever  is available for you to use.

REMEMBER:  Athletes can still be experiencing heat stroke

even if most symptoms are absent. 

Seek medical attention immediately at the first sign

of serious or unusual symptoms.


Steps to Preventing Dehydration

  • Acclimate to the heat over a period of 10 -14 days by beginning to exercise during the hot parts of the day for 10 -20 minutes and gradually increase your exercise time working up to 1 – 2 hours.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of proper fluids during the acclimatization period.
  • Drink fluids containing sodium to keep your urine clear to light yellow
  • If you sweat a lot, or heat conditions worsen, be sure to take in extra sodium during the day with your meals and/or or rehydration beverages containing sodium.
  • When exercising in the heat, cloths should be breathable and allow for proper sweating and evaporation. Clothes that get wet and hold on to the sweat need to be changed regularly.
  • Alter intensity and frequency if exercising in the heat. Always make adjustments as the heat and/or humidity increase.

Hydration breaks should be more frequent and longer as the heat and/or humidity increase.

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