Concussions damage brain, change personalities

YOUNGSTOWN — Of all injuries athletes suffer, concussions have gotten the most attention in the past few years.

“Any injury is the worst injury for an athlete. Even at the most minor level, an injury takes you out of your game,” said Cynthia Zordich, photographer and co-author of “When the Clock Runs Out,” which profiles 20 National Football League players.

She is also the wife of Michael Zordich, a Youngstown native who played for 12 years as a cornerback in the NFL and coached at Cardinal

Mooney High School in Youngstown and the Philadelphia Eagles before being tapped as the safeties’ coach for the Youngstown State University Penguins.

“Concussions are at their most dangerous when they are ignored,” Cynthia Zordich said.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“It’s a very hot topic, and I don’t know where it goes from here,” said Eric Wolford, YSU head football coach. “Is it a situation where we are going to have more protective helmets? Are we going to start limiting any kind of helmet contact?

“It’s a concern in the NFL,” Wolford said. “It’s a

concern in college. It’s a concern in high school. I honestly don’t know what the solution is.”

For the complete story, read Sunday's Vindicator and

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