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Free high school football screening for PSAL players right on the mark

SILive.com—August 7, 2013

Last Saturday, 119 PSAL football players from across city attended the third annual free health screening held at Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

The exams are the brainchild of Dr. Mark Sherman, the Grant City-based orthopedic surgeon, whose association with city football and Hospital for Special Surgery dates back over 30 years.

“I had the idea from watching the NFL Combine,” Sherman said of the weeklong battery of tests NFL scouts and general managers put college players through before the draft. “Sometimes, the physicals (high school) kids receive are inadequate; a lot of kids even forge names on the forms.”

Saturday’s screening went from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and student-athletes received a 45-minute physical.

First, the height, weight, blood pressure and pulse rate were taken. The teens then received a complete orthopedic evaluation from an orthopedic surgeon. Players were questioned about their own and their family’s medical history. Next, an examination of the heart and lungs was done. Finally, a physical therapist tested players’ balance and stretching ability.

“Playing football means a lot to me, it’s my favorite sport. Medical exams I’ve had before were nothing like this,” said Curtis HS junior Ksean Foster. “I felt like everything was a lot more accurate here.”


Assisting Sherman was a staff that included Dr. James Kinderknecht and Dr. Scott Rodeo, both affiliated with the New York Giants; and physical therapist John Cavanaugh, who has worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee and whom Sherman calls “the main cog". He’s even started an injury registry at the hospital for the kids we’ve seen, so we’ll know how many ankle sprains, ACL tears or concussions they’ve had before the next time we see them.”

This season will mark the fourth year Sherman and Hospital for Special Surgery will be available to PSAL football players on Mondays during the campaign to look over any injuries suffered.

“It’s a great thing that Doc Sherman and Hospital for Special Surgery are doing,” Curtis coach Pete Gambardella said. “At these screenings, the players are being seen by sports doctors. A regular doctor might just say a kid’s got a bruise; these doctors know what to look for and evaluate.

“The screening is big, especially for first-year players that we don’t know anything about,” added Gambardella, who said about 10-12 Curtis players have taken advantage of the screening each of the past three years. “And the price is right. The kids don’t have to worry about insurance.

Read the full story at SIlive.com.


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