Page High School's Charles Rathbone Named Titans H.S. Coach of the Week


NASHVILLE, Tenn. –The Tennessee Titans have named Page High School's head football coach Charles Rathbone their Week 5 Titans High School Coach of the Week.

Coach Rathbone's Patriots faced Forrest High Rockets this past Friday, winning a close battle in overtime, 23-22. The game was a back forth contest and close throughout, but the Patriots were able to capitalize on their opponent's mistakes. Putting forth a great defensive effort in overtime, Page prevented a game-winning two-point conversion attempt to seal the win.

Unlike the previous Coach of the Week winners, Page High School does not participate in the Heads Up Football program, but utilizes other methods to ensure the safety of their football student-athletes. During practice and scrimmages, Page High utilizes fitted padded caps in hopes to reduce the risk of concussions. The cap adds an extra layer of cushion around the outside of the helmet.

We talked to Coach Rathbone more about his efforts towards making the game safer for his student-athletes and the reasons leading to the use of the padded caps.

Coach, what was the deciding factor or factors to begin using the fitted padded caps?

I heard a lot about them at a number of coaches' clinics. A few years ago we had a young man who had a pretty serious concussion and being around him and watching him struggle for a couple weeks from the symptoms and the headaches left an impression. As a coach, I just think it's about responsibility, even if it takes a little extra fundraising to do everything we can to protect these kids. So if we can take some of the helmet to helmet impact out of practice and still be able to hit a little bit and tackle, then it's definitely worth it. The cap has been said to reduce impact by 33 percent so, to me, it was just a common sense, easy solution to do.

Since the use of the caps, have you seen a reduction of headaches or any other concussion-related symptoms?

*We do not have any complaints of headaches and have seen a reduction in concussions. We had four or five concussions a year before we got the padded caps. We started to see the same trend early last season and by Week 5, we decided to purchase the caps. Since then, we have had maybe one or two concussions and those occurred during games when the caps were not worn. *

When you first introduced the caps to your athletes, did they complain about it? What did they think?

*They wanted to whine and cry a little bit, wanting that cool factor like all kids while playing, especially during scrimmages. Eventually, the players understood and appreciated we (coaches/parents) are simply doing what's best for them. This biggest thing has been said is they miss is the "pop" sound when hitting. When you hit with the caps, you don't hear the big collision. I tell them, I will sacrifice a big collision for their safety any day. The players understand because they also want to be safe, practice safe, hit right and overall do the right things. It's just a little adjustment that we as adults got to enforce and ignore the whining for a little bit for their safety.  *

Did parents want to help with fundraising efforts?

*Yes! If you tell parents why you are raising a certain amount of money and it relates to protecting their kids, they are all for it. They will get behind you and are willing to go and do the little extra to protect their child and any other. Parents are like coaches and don't want to see any child get hurt. *

Coach Rathbone will continue his efforts to make the game safer for his student-athletes as he moves forward in the season.  As the Coach of the Week winner, he will receive a $1,000 grant benefiting the Page High School football program.

The Tennessee Titans have provided grants for teams across the state for over 15 years. Over that period the Titans have provided $179,000 toward the Titans High School Coach of the Week grant program.

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