Injuries from Florida Tech Football’s season opener against Newberry have set the players back in their fight to win the game.
Players Mark Cato, Trevor Sand, Tevlin Kirkland, Gabe Hughes and Jaz Gamble were all helped off the field at different points during the game.
Cato, Florida Tech’s starting quarterback, dislocated his elbow before halftime and second string quarterback Sean Ashley was sent in to replace him.
“At first there are some nerves, there’s some adjustment to the speed, but really once the ball is snapped to you it’s really all about reaction,” Head Coach Steve Englehart said of Ashley going in mid-game. “There’s also some anticipation and some excitement to get that opportunity.”
The Florida Tech strength and conditioning program has begun to emphasize eccentric motion exercises as well as looking at specific biomechanics in order to more effectively prevent soft tissue injuries in the legs.
Jay Johnson, head of Florida Tech Athletic Training said that besides the “epidemic” of hamstring injuries at Florida Tech, the next two biggest football injuries after concussions, are ankle sprains and shoulder injuries.
In order to best prevent injuries, Florida Tech Athletics is focusing their training routines on muscular endurance.
“Endurance-wise, like I said, they’re not just focusing on cardiovascular,” Johnson said. “…not just run run run run run, but to actually get the burn within the muscle, get that endurance within the muscle group itself.”
Ethan Tyler is the head strength and conditioning coach at Florida Tech. His injury prevention program highlights the small muscles that oversee the workload of the larger muscle groups most prone to injury — shoulders, hips and hamstrings.
“Injuries happen when the movements are not efficient,” Tyler said.
Tyler’s philosophy focuses on athletes coming back as soon as possible, stronger than before their injury occurred. Tyler explained that the stronger the muscle is before injury, the more efficient the rehabilitation process will be.
Florida Tech Football faced off a tough D1 Football Championship Subdivision team in Southeastern Louisiana this weekend and fell 28-17.
The team was without Cato, and starting running back, Sand.