PINSON, Ala. (WIAT) — The Clay-Chalkville High School Cougars were expecting big things from their football team in 2012. After opening the season with two losses, the team reeled off four consecutive wins.
A large part of that success rode on the performace of running back Sidney Battle, a junior last year. “I felt good about what was going on in the season,” said Battle. Then came Week 7.
The Gadsden City Titans rolled into Pinson looking to stop the Cougars’ winning streak. Both crowds were in a frenzy, but a seemingly routine run up the middle by Battle brought a stunned silence.
“I just remember, I got the ball and I started running,” said Battle, ”and the next thing I know, I see people talking to me and I’m laying on the ground looking up.”
Medical personnel and teammates surrounded Battle. “I really knew something was wrong when the head coach went out on the field,” said his father, Sidney Battle, Sr.
After coming to, Battle told his father one of the worst things a parent can hear. “The first thing he said was, ‘Dad, I can’t move.’”
Battle was suffering from temporary paralysis, as well as a concussion.
“It’s a scary feeling when you’re telling your body to move and none of your ligaments will move,” said the running back, who is entering his senior season.
Before he made it to the hospital he began feeling a tingling sensation in his extremities. “That was a God-send, at that point,” said his father.
Situations like the one Battle faced are why the AHSAA is trying to reduce the amount of contact players absorb from day one of training camp through their final games.
To see the new proposal from the governing body click here.
Battle’s family believes these moves are good for the athletes. “I grew up in the 80′s loving the hard hits, [with] the guys not being able to get up,” said his dad, before one of his son’s work-outs. ”But, I’m an adult now. and that stuff is not good.”