Killeen: Local football group tackling health concerns

St. Ambrose University's first football game against Trinity Bible College has been cancelled. (MGN)

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) As two states make their own decisions for the future of youth football, the spotlight is back on health issues related to the sport.

This week, the states of California and Massachusetts were thrust back in the headlines. In California, Assembly 1 aims to reduce injury risk associated with youth football. Starting in 2021, youth football teams would be prevented from having more than two full contact practices a week, which could only last 30 minutes.

Lawmakers in Massachusetts have proposed banning tackle football for kids before the eight grade.

In Killeen, Anthony Kendrick of K-Town Raptors, says USA Football -- the governing body of amateur football -- has already implemented changes in effort to make the game safer.

“Now that we’re down to three practices a week, we try to limit contact to an hour and half. Once practice out of the three, we do contact so the kids bodies can recover," he said.

He also says coaches go through mandated training courses to learn how to identify injuries such as concussions and heat-related injuries on top of cutting back on the contact in practices.

“The game has changed from the big hits to the big “wows,” to just lets make tackles and do it in a safe manner," he added.