Originally published April 7, 2011 at 10:03 a.m., updated August 12, 2013 at 11 a.m.
High school football has never had a higher profile, with nationally televised games, corporate sponsorships and minute-by-minute coverage on sports websites.
In northwest Arkansas, FRONTLINE examines one ambitious high school team working its way towards national renown. With a superstar quarterback at the helm, tiny Shiloh Christian is striving to join the ranks of the country’s best high school teams — teams whose workout schedules, practices and styles of play increasingly imitate the pros.
Attention: Players, Parents, Coaches
Get answers to frequently asked questions on head injuries, heatstroke and how to protect young players' health and safety.
Please Don't Let This Happen to Someone Else's Son
Read a letter from Mark and Tina Davenport, parents of 16-year-old Tyler Davenport, who died in October 2010, three months after collapsing from heatstroke after football practice.
New Lawsuits in High School Football Deaths by Gretchen Gavett
But as high school players grow bigger, faster and stronger, there are growing concerns about the health and safety of these young players — with rising rates of concussions, career-ending injuries, even death.
In Arkansas, FRONTLINE documents a tragic story of heat-stroke injuries that reveal how weak regulation has created a crucial lack of athletic trainers at most high schools. It all raises a critical question: has the amped-up culture of high school football outrun necessary protections for the boys who play the game?
This episode originally aired in 2011.