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Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:17 PM EDTIt takes more than coaches and trainers to get high school athletes ready for fall sports.It also takes doctors.As News 13's Jay Siltzer shows us in today's Health Alert, finding a small problem now can prevent a bigger one later.Smoky Mountain High School quarterback Zeb Speir has no argument getting an annual physical before hitting the gridiron.Zeb Speir, Smoky Mountain quarterback, "I think it's important to just be safe and have a peace of mind that you are alright and ready to go."The tests are comprehensive, Dr. Judson Garbarino, Carolina West Sports Medicine, "they do cover muscular-skeletal, cardiac, lung, skin, things of that nature."David Napert, Smoky Mountain football coach, "we've found some cases where it probably saved some young men's lives."Dr. Garbarino, "it's very important for student athletes to have per-participating exams because it gives the physician the opportunity to screen them for any type of medical illness or injury they've suffered that may put them at risk for future injury."Changing techniques for tackling is especially important to prevent conceussions on game day.Coach Napert, "we are seeing a lot less use of the helmet faces up."That way a player can remain chin up and walk away from the season healthy.Med-west physicians recently donated their time for free sports physicals in several counties.Doctors say the exams are meant to supplement, not replace, a player's annual exam with his or her family doctor.Student Athlete Physicals
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