CLIFTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The Clifton Junior Football League will now require pre-season concussion exams for its athletes.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney On The Story

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Coach Joe Gaccione has been at it for over 20 years and says he’d much rather have old players come back saying they put their brains to good use in life rather than see one who’s brain is shot.

“And he can’t count to ten because he said ‘Hey, you know all those good times I had playing football? And I got concussions,'” he told WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney.

So, his league now mandates pre-season screenings.

“There’s a starting point to diagnose kids properly,” he said.

This will let them know if they should keep a kid out and will gauge where the players are in case they suffer concussions later.

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Gaccione said that, last season, a player of his who had a concussion before the season started merely bumped his head during warm ups.

“And just in bumping his head, he went down to the ground and had a headache,” Gaccione said.

“The point of the matter is every concussion is brain damage,” U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell said.

Pascrell started the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, which called for soldiers serving in Afghanistan, and then Iraq, be tested before deploying.

“So that we can have a test when they come off the field to see what’s the difference,” Pascrell said. “This was roadside bombs. A lot of these soldiers also not admitting they were injured.”

That task force evolved into more of a focus on sports concussions.

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What else do you think should be done to keep kids safe on the field? Sound off below.