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FRONTLINE: Football High

Airs Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Samuel Harvill from Shiloh Christian High School gets his elbow taped during ...

Credit: Courtesy of Kyle Coburn for FRONTLINE

Above: Samuel Harvill from Shiloh Christian High School gets his elbow taped during a game against the Euless Trinity Trojans at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas in 2010.

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?

In "Football High," FRONTLINE producers Rachel Dretzin ("Digital Nation," "Growing Up Online") and Caitlin McNally investigate the new face of high school football.

This episode originally aired in 2011.

FRONTLINE is on Facebook, and follow @frontlinepbs on Twitter.

Preview: Frontline: Football High

Corporate sponsorships, nationally televised games, minute-by-minute coverage on sports websites -- for players, parents and coaches, high school football has never been bigger. But is enough being done to ensure players' safety as the intensity of the sport grows? In "Football High," FRONTLINE investigates the new face of high school football.

Starting Young

You would think first-grade summer football is just organized chaos, but not in the Springdale, Ark. local youth league.

Marketing Kiehl Frazier

Kiehl Frazier is the most heavily recruited high school athlete in Arkansas history. In the fall he'll be vying for the starting quarterback position at Auburn University, the country's best college team. But achieving his dream -- becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL -- requires a lot more than just putting up numbers on the field.

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