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New England appreciates football

Youth football clinic at Amherst Regional High School
Gage Nutter
/
DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
Youth football clinic at Amherst Regional High School

The risk of severe brain injuries and the negative attention focused on some star plays do not appear to have hurt the popularity of football among fans in western New England or the country. Ahead of high school championship games, there is also excitement about new big-name coaches at UMass and UConn, as the New England Patriots have returned to the upper rankings in the NFL.

The new coach at UMass has led the Minutemen before. Don Brown led UMass to an NCAA Division I-AA national championship game in 2006. Since moving up to the highest college football division in 2013, the school has struggled.

The new coach at UConn has experience as a college head coach and as an NFL head coach. Jim Mora was previously the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, the Seattle Seahawks and the UCLA Bruins. Mora last coached in 2017.

While New England is the second smallest division in the Pop Warner youth football program, it has the second larges number of teams. Program organizers say their primary focus has become safety.

“We’ve taken classes on concussion protocol, and we teach the right way to play football. We,” do a lot of practices before they even hit. We hand out equipment. We do a lot of things to make sure that they're safe and they understand, you know, the dangers that football can have if you're careless and reckless”  youth football Coach Mike Ravosa told And Another Thing.  

The risk of severe brain injuries and the negative attention focused on some star plays do not appear to have hurt the popularity of football among fans in western New England or the country. Ahead of high school championship games, there is also excitement about new big-name coaches at UMass and UConn, as the New England Patriots have returned to the upper rankings in the NFL.

The new coach at UMass has led the Minutemen before. Don Brown led UMass to an NCAA Division I-AA national championship game in 2006. Since moving up to the highest college football division in 2013, the school has struggled.

The new coach at UConn has experience as a college head coach and as an NFL head coach. Jim Mora was previously the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, the Seattle Seahawks and the UCLA Bruins. Mora last coached in 2017.

While New England is the second smallest division in the Pop Warner youth football program, it has the second larges number of teams. Program organizers say their primary focus has become safety.

“We’ve taken classes on concussion protocol, and we teach the right way to play football. We,” do a lot of practices before they even hit. We hand out equipment. We do a lot of things to make sure that they're safe and they understand, you know, the dangers that football can have if you're careless and reckless”  youth football Coach Mike Ravosa told And Another Thing.  

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