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Changes coming to high school football

It’s the first week of high school football practice in Oklahoma and it could be the last season that coaches have full control over exactly how they practice.

The new rules being talked about would limit the amount of full contact practices.

“We all want to win championships but we also want to keep kids healthy,” said Millwood head football coach, Darwin Franklin.

Franklin says they tend to focus more on technique in practice, so new rules wouldn’t affect his team that much.

“We only get after it for maybe a max of 20 minutes per day,” said Franklin.

Centennial High School head football coach, Don Willis, said they also take caution with their student athletes.

“We still try to be very careful about all the contact that we’re doing and if it is, it’s more of a controlled type tackling or whatever you want to say,” said Willis.

The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association is working with the Oklahoma Football Coaches Association to come up with some new guidelines.

“We’re trying to be proactive and looking to see what can we implement ourselves and get ahead of this thing before something is mandated,” said David Jackson with O.S.S.A.A.

Some say the regulations could water down the sport.

“You can’t take too much of the physicalness away from the sport because once you do it turns into flag football,” said parent, Lasandra Reed.

But lawsuits at the NFL level over concussions are prompting colleges and now high schools to examine new ways of doing things.

“Hopefully by these coaches taking a proactive stance, they can avoid all of these kinds of lawsuits and they can protect our kids,” said attorney, David Slane.

No firm limits have been decided yet.