Football teams learning safer tackling techniques

SEATTLE — Cedarcrest High School is the fifth team to forfeit to the powerhouse Archbishop Murphy High School. The forfeits have brought concerns about safety on the field back to light.

Seattle’s Garfield High School started new drills and training this season, partnering up with Atavus Football to learn a safer way to tackle with techniques used in the game of rugby.

“It’s transferring the energy through the body, from your largest part of your body onto the runner, the second piece is keeping the head out of the point of contact,” said Ron Lloyd, Atavus Football CEO.

Garfield High School’s football coach Joey Thomas says the drills are working.

“Technique is everything, with the proper technique a little guy can take down a big guy,” said Thomas.

His varsity team is 6-0, but even more reason to boast, he said, is they’ve had no concussions since partnering with Atavus. His freshman team has had one this year, a drop from the year prior.

Atavus at says not only is this style a safer way to tackle, but they’re seeing that it is also leading to stronger defensive lines, so the teams are actually playing better too. For example, University of Washington is one of the schools also using this technique and the Huskies are sixth in the country for scoring defense.