Harrisburg Academy contracts with Select Medical to provide an athletic trainer for practices and home games. We are fortunate to have Linsey Ciccocioppo providing treatment for our student-athletes. Part of the physical requirements for playing is not only to have a physical examination each year, but each student is also required to take impact testing as a baseline for measuring for concussions.

Concussions are very serious — how much do you know about them?

As defined in professional journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, “A concussion is a traumatic brain injury induced by an impulsive force transmitted to the head resulting from a direct or indirect impact to the head, face, neck, or elsewhere” (Concussion).

“Concussions may present with a wide range of clinical signs and symptoms, including physical signs (e.g., loss of consciousness, amnesia), behavioral changes (e.g., irritability), cognitive impairment (e.g., slowed reaction times), sleep disturbances (e.g., drowsiness), somatic symptoms (e.g., headaches), cognitive symptoms (e.g., feeling “in a fog”), and/or emotional symptoms (e.g., emotional lability)” (McCrory P, Meeuwisse W, Johnston K, et al.).

According to Ciccocioppo, “These symptoms are not exclusive, and can vary with every concussion. Unfortunately, some cases have neurologic impairments that occur rapidly and resolve spontaneously, and these are the cases that both the athletic trainers and coaching staff miss.

“Athletes worry that suffering from a concussion will affect playing time, and this affects the large proportion of concussions being unreported,” she continued. “Athletes need to understand the significance of sustaining a concussion and communicating how they are truly feeling.”

Whenever symptoms listed above (but not partial to) are present, the athlete needs to be taken out of play. An athlete can continue to ‘push through’ and play with minor injuries, but any possibility of a concussion cannot be taken lightly. When diagnosing a concussion, the best referral is to a neurologist who specializes in treating athletes.

Interested in learning more about concussions? Select Medical and Linsey Ciccocioppo, in partnership with our Parents Association, will host an educational seminar on-campus on March 21, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. Courtney Hart, school counselor, will provide more information in the coming weeks.

Learn more about Harrisburg Academy on our school website.


Concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) and the team physician: a consensus statement. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Feb;38(2):395–399.

McCrory P, Meeuwisse W, Johnston K, et al. Consensus statement on concussion in sport–the 3rd International Conference on concussion in sport, held in Zurich, November 2008. J Clin Neurosci. 2009 Jun;16(6):755–763.