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Football High 1x53

Corporate sponsorships, nationally televised games, minute-by-minute coverage on sports websites—high school football has never had a higher profile. In northwest Arkansas, FRONTLINE finds an 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. But as high school players grow bigger, faster, and stronger, there are increasing concerns about the health and safety of these young players—from concussions to 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 to protect the players at most high schools, raising a central question: has the amped-up culture of high school football outrun necessary protections for the boys who play the game?