Kaiser DB Tom waiting for OK to play

A decision on the playing status of Kaiser defensive back Nicolas Tom will be made Thursday, according to Cougars coach Cameron Higgins.

Tom was hurt and taken to the hospital in an ambulance during last Friday’s 54-48 OIA Division I first-round playoff victory over Moanalua at Kaiser Stadium.

With the win, Kaiser (5-3) advanced to play at Mililani (7-0) in the quarterfinals on Friday.

According to Higgins, Tom was attempting to tackle Na Menehune quarterback Kawika Keama-Jacobe, missed and, with his head down, ran into a teammate.

“He felt numbness in his fingers and went to the hospital as a precaution,” Higgins said. “It was not a concussion and he might play against Mililani. He’s waiting for clearance on Thursday.”

During a phone interview Tuesday, Higgins took the time to talk about the importance of the proper technique of tackling, a nationwide topic due to the much-publicized link between head trauma and brain damage.

“When you drop your head, you don’t know what you’re running into,” he said, and that’s part of the problem. “We teach them to keep their head up and to not leave their feet. We are not just saying it to waste our breath.”


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