Columbia, SC (WLTX) --- With the start of football near for all ages, some of the athletic training staff from the University of South Carolina are helping some of the Midlands' smaller athletes.
For the second year, USC will lend its training staff to the Friarsgate Titans, a local Pop Warner football team. The children's ages range from They will prevent and treat whatever injuries amongst the children. It's a misconception that due to their smaller size, there are fewer injuries.
"These kids still hit. They still tackle," said Jim Menche. "They still play hard and there will unfortunately be some injuries. Menche serves as the Athletic Training Program Director at USC.
It's rare that any Pop Warner team has an athletic training staff. Typically when injuries occur, the players are tended to be the coaches and parents who watch from the sideline.
"Us being out here and being able to help, I think is so important," said Payton Kingsley, a graduate athletic training student at USC.
"They're growing....and getting hurt at such a young age....it's just nice if you can prevent that."