MINNEOLA, Fla. – A ninth-grade Lake Minneola student was recently injured playing in a 7-on-7 football game, according to Lake County School officials.
The student played on the Lake Minneola High School junior varsity football team last fall, but the the game at Mount Dora High School was not affiliated with any school or district athletic program, district officials said in an email to News 6.
Due to privacy laws, the district could not disclose the student's condition.
According to the page, Zerblas suffered a severe head injury after he lost his footing and tripped during the game and hit his head on the opposing players knee. It went on to say he suffered a compressed skull fracture that lead to a blood clot in his brain and required surgery.
A.G. Waseem, who is the director of the 7-on-7 league, Certified Dogs, knows Zerblas' coach well and was told the news the same day.
"As soon as it happened, you know, I got the phone call," he said.
He requires his players to wear soft shell helmets which are not mandatory in 7-on-7 leagues.
With the rise in popularity of 7-on-7 games Waseem said the Florida High School Athletic Association will need to get involved at some point.
Even though the leagues may have high school students and coaches, they're not affiliated with the school district as a whole.
As a result, FHSAA doesn't govern them or require helmets be worn.
Waseem is hoping to see a change in that as a result of what happened last week.
"I think this is kind of going to force you know everybody not just the high school coaches, FHSAA, myself, all these guys to get together and come up with a plan so we can protect kids," Waseem said.
Lake County School Athletic Director Don Hogan said they are opening discussion about offering soft shell helmets for their middle school students.
According to AdventHealth Centra Care, sports season brings an increase in related injuries, including head trauma.
Centra Care physicians reported an uptick in head injuries across Central Florida over the past week.